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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for alliteration in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


From New Latin alliteratio, from alliteratus, from allitero, from Latin ad (to, towards, near) and litera (a letter).


Examples (repetition of initial consonants)

Behemoth, biggest born of earth, upheaved His vastness. - Milton.
Fly o'er waste fens and windy fields. -Alfred Tennyson


alliteration (countable and uncountable, plural alliterations)

  1. The repetition of consonants at the beginning of two or more words immediately succeeding each other, or at short intervals.
  2. The recurrence of the same letter in accented parts of words, as in Anglo-Saxon alliterative meter.
Examples (repetition of consonants in accented word parts)

In a somer seson whan soft was the sonne, I shope me in shroudes as I a shepe were. - Piers Plowman.

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