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[as-uh-nuh ns] /ˈæs ə nəns/
resemblance of sounds.
Also called vowel rhyme. Prosody. rhyme in which the same vowel sounds are used with different consonants in the stressed syllables of the rhyming words, as in penitent and reticence.
partial agreement or correspondence.
1720-30; < French, equivalent to asson(ant) sounding in answer (see as-, sonant) + -ance -ance
Related forms
assonant, adjective, noun
[as-uh-nan-tl] /ˌæs əˈnæn tl/ (Show IPA),
assonantic, adjective
nonassonance, noun
nonassonant, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for assonance
  • The goal for this instance is to maximize the consonance and assonance of adjacent consonants and vowels, respectively.
  • They have sonority, assonance, and in some instances even alliteration.
  • He could add inconsistent and inattentive and keep his assonance intact.
British Dictionary definitions for assonance


the use of the same vowel sound with different consonants or the same consonant with different vowels in successive words or stressed syllables, as in a line of verse. Examples are time and light or mystery and mastery
partial correspondence; rough similarity
Derived Forms
assonant, adjective, noun
assonantal (ˌæsəˈnæntəl) adjective
Word Origin
C18: from French, from Latin assonāre to sound, from sonāre to sound
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for assonance

1727, "resemblance of sounds between words," from French assonance, from assonant, from Latin assonantem (nominative assonans), present participle of assonare "to resound, respond to," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + sonare "to sound" (see sonata). Properly, in prosody, "rhyming of accented vowels, but not consonants" (1823).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for assonance

in prosody, repetition of stressed vowel sounds within words with different end consonants, as in the phrase "quite like." It is unlike rhyme, in which initial consonants differ but both vowel and end-consonant sounds are identical, as in the phrase "quite right." Many common phrases, such as "mad as a hatter," "free as a breeze," or "high as a kite," owe their appeal to assonance. As a poetic device, internal assonance is usually combined with alliteration (repetition of initial consonant sounds) and consonance (repetition of end or medial consonant sounds) to enrich the texture of the poetic line. Sometimes a single vowel sound is repeated, as in the opening line of Thomas Hood's "Autumn": I saw old Autumn in the misty morn

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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