She pulled her words together
just so
Over & over again
Different ways of saying


But her mouth tasted


Other Literary Concepts:
Characterization | Repetition | Point of View | Irony | Connotation | Plot | Personification

Alliteration is when a consonant sound is repeated constantly in a sentence, paragraph, or poem. The first letters of the alliterated words are usually the subject of alliteration, but not always. Alliteration is used for many reasons, including:

  • to make something sound musical
  • to emphasize something
  • to tie two lines of a poem together

One common example of alliteration is:

She sells sea shells by the sea shore.

Of course, as mentioned before, alliteration doesn't have to be in the first letter of a word:

Bob the carpet sweeper dug deeper after he saw the zoo keeper.

The above alliteration rhymes, though it does not have to rhyme to be considered an alliteration. Here is an example of an alliteration that does not rhyme:

Flying Fred fish frequently flew fast for fattening fish food.

Al*lit`er*a"tion (#), n. [L. ad + litera letter. See Letter.]

The repetition of the same letter at the beginning of two or more words immediately succeeding each other, or at short intervals; as in the following lines: -

Behemoth, biggest born of earth, upheaved His vastness. Milton.

Fly o'er waste fens and windy fields. Tennyson.

⇒ The recurrence of the same letter in accented parts of words is also called alliteration. Anglo-Saxon poetry is characterized by alliterative meter of this sort. Later poets also employed it.

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


© Webster 1913.

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