The repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds in neighboring words. Adjective: assonant.
- Ten Titillating Types of Sound Effects in Language
- Exercise in Identifying Sound Effects in Poetry and Prose: Alliteration, Assonance, and Rhyme
- Top 20 Figures of Speech
Etymology:From the Latin, "sound"
- "If I bleat when I speak it's because I just got . . . fleeced."
(Al Swearengen in Deadwood, 2004)
- "It beats . . . as it sweeps . . . as it cleans!"
(advertising slogan for Hoover vacuum cleaners, 1950s)
- "Those images that yet
Fresh images beget,
That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea."
(W.B. Yeats, "Byzantium")
- "Soft language issued from their spitless lips as they swished in low circles round and round the field, winding hither and thither through the weeds, dragging their long tails amid the rattling canisters."
(James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, 1916)
- "The spider skins lie on their sides, translucent and ragged, their legs drying in knots."
(Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm, 1977)
- "Flash with a rash gimme my cash flickin' my ash
Runnin with my money, son, go out with a blast."
(Busta Rhymes, "Gimme Some More," 1998)
- "Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light. . . .
"Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
(Dylan Thomas, "Do not go gentle into that good night")
- "The setting sun was licking the hard bright machine like some great invisible beast on its knees."
(John Hawkes, Death, Sleep, and the Traveler, 1974)
- "I must confess that in my quest I felt depressed and restless."
(Thin Lizzy, "With Love")
- "In the over-mastering loneliness of that moment, his whole life seemed to him nothing but vanity."
(Robert Penn Warren, Night Rider, 1939)
- "A lanky, six-foot, pale boy with an active Adam's apple, ogling Lo and her orange-brown bare midriff, which I kissed five minutes later, Jack."
(Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, 1955)
- "Strips of tinfoil winking like people"
(Sylvia Plath, "The Bee Meeting")
- "Assonance, (or medial rime) is the agreement in the vowel sounds of two or more words, when the consonant sounds preceding and following these vowels do not agree. Thus, strike and grind, hat and man, 'rime' with each other according to the laws of assonance."
(J.W. Bright, Elements of English Versification, 1910)
- "Beware of excessive assonance. Any assonance that draws attention to itself is excessive."
(John Earle, A Simple Grammar of English, 1898)
- "The terms alliteration, assonance, and rhyme identify kinds of recurring sound that in practice are often freely mixed together. . . . It may not be easy or useful to decide where one stops and another starts."
(Tom McArthur, The Oxford Companion to the English Language, 1992)
- "Rhyme, alliteration, assonance, and consonance combined often produce tongue-twisting linguistics. Big Punisher's 'Twinz' includes this couplet . . .: 'Dead in the middle of little Italy / Little did we know that we riddled a middle man who didn't know diddly.' . . . Keying in on a single sound, he runs a staggering series of rhyme variations ('middle,' 'little,' 'riddled,' 'middle,' 'diddly'), which he further builds upon with consonance (d) and assonance (i) and alliteration (d and l). This is what happens when a poet is in complete control of his rhymes."
(Adam Bradley, Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop. BasicCivitas, 2009)