as·​so·​nance ˈa-sə-nən(t)s How to pronounce assonance (audio)
: relatively close juxtaposition of similar sounds especially of vowels (as in "rise high in the bright sky")
: repetition of vowels without repetition of consonants (as in stony and holy) used as an alternative to rhyme in verse
: resemblance of sound in words or syllables
assonant adjective or noun
assonantal adjective

Examples of assonance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The simile is novel and yet the sort of thing a young woman would think; there is assonance and consonance seesawing across the sentence, which is slow and gorgeous rather than quick and thrilling. Joanna Biggs, Harper's Magazine, 10 Jan. 2024 Near-rhyme, half rhyme, off rhyme, odd rhyme, assonance and identities, slant rhymers and straight rhymers: all of it is potentially compelling, and none of it is a sanctuary from sense. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 23 May 2022 At the same time, the poem’s strong slam rhythms, coming in rising and falling waves, with frequent internal rhymes, repetitions, and plays of assonance are strong, effective, unmistakable. Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books, 31 Mar. 2021 The face-off between Beowulf and Unferth plays out like a rap battle, with end-rhymes, slant rhymes, and over-the-top assonance springing the words off the page. Irina Dumitrescu, The New York Review of Books, 17 Nov. 2020 The fairy even hovers over Harbart’s suicide, and a similar lighter touch informs the prose, enlivened by assonance and alliteration. John Domini,, 7 Aug. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'assonance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, from Latin assonare to answer with the same sound, from ad- + sonare to sound, from sonus sound — more at sound entry 1

First Known Use

1727, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of assonance was in 1727

Dictionary Entries Near assonance

Cite this Entry

“Assonance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


as·​so·​nance ˈas-ə-nən(t)s How to pronounce assonance (audio)
: the repetition of vowel sounds but not consonants in words (as "red hen") for poetic effect
assonant adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on assonance

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