Definition of alliteration in English:


Line breaks: al¦lit¦er|ation
Pronunciation: /əlɪtəˈreɪʃ(ə)n


[mass noun]
  • The occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words: the alliteration of ‘sweet birds sang’ [count noun]: alliterations are clustered in the last few lines
    More example sentences
    • With a traditional ballad you may notice the rhyme scheme or alliteration.
    • What he admired in these poets was their inventive use of word and sound in every device of onomatopoeia, alliteration, pun and palindrome.
    • The section on markers discusses rhyme and alliteration, oppositions, word repetition, paradox, metaphor, pithiness and aspects of the syntax of proverbs.


early 17th century: from medieval Latin alliteratio(n-), from Latin ad- (expressing addition) + littera 'letter'.

More definitions of alliteration

Definition of alliteration in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody