from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Resemblance of sound, especially of the vowel sounds in words, as in: "that dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea” ( William Butler Yeats).
  • n. The repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds, especially in stressed syllables, with changes in the intervening consonants, as in the phrase tilting at windmills.
  • n. Rough similarity; approximate agreement.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The repetition of similar or identical vowel sounds (though with different consonants), usually in literature or poetry.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Resemblance of sound.
  • n. A peculiar species of rhyme, in which the last accented vowel and those which follow it in one word correspond in sound with the vowels of another word, while the consonants of the two words are unlike in sound.
  • n. Incomplete correspondence.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Resemblance of sounds.
  • n. Specifically In prosody, a species of imperfect rime, or rather a substitute for rime, especially common in Spanish poetry, consisting in using the same vowel-sound with different consonants, and requiring the use of the same vowels in the assonant words from the last accented vowel to the end of the word: thus, man and hat, penitent and reticence, are examples of assonance in English.
  • n. Agreement or harmony of things.
  • n. Synonyms Paronomasia, etc. See pun.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the repetition of similar vowels in the stressed syllables of successive words


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French, from Latin assonāre, to respond to : ad-, ad- + sonāre, to sound; see swen- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French assonance, from Latin word assonare.



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  • I agree. Assonance is dissonant.

    October 23, 2008

  • I strongly dislike this word. Not because of the meaning, and not because I'm sick of year 12 English (although I am that, too), but because its mouthfeel is just so unpleasant.

    October 23, 2008