What Is Alliteration? (with Examples)


Alliteration is the repetition of the same initial letter in successive words. It is done for effect.

Alliteration is a stylistic literary technique in which neighbouring words repeat the same initial consonant sound. This is not to be confused with consonance as alliteration refers to only the beginning sound of the word and consonance refers to any other part.

Alliteration is used for emphasis or to make a sentence more pleasing to the ear. It is used in everyday language, poetry, and literature. To form alliteration we need two or more words that have the same starting consonant sound. It's important to focus on the sound rather than the letter because it is the sound that catches the audience's attention.

Alliteration Examples

  • He's going to gut the golden goose.
  • Veni, vidi, vici (Emperor Julius Caesar)
  • (I came, I saw, I conquered)
  • Veni, vidi, Visa
  • (I came, I saw, I spent)
  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
  • (A peck is quarter of a bushel. Did that help? No? That's 16 dry pints.)

More Alliteration Examples

Below are more examples of alliteration:
  • I can't say what my wife does. Why? Is it a secret? No, she sells seashells down by the seashore.
  • She had a respectable teeth-to-tattoo ratio.
  • Peter Piper picked pints aplenty, 16 precisely, of pickled peppers.
  • (Alliteration includes words with the repeated sound at the stressed syllable, which is why this alliterative string includes aplenty.)

Why Should I Care about Alliteration?

Alliteration can be used for emphasis and well as for fun. It features in everyday language, poetry, literature and business writing.

Used sparingly in business writing, alliteration can make a sentence more impactful and memorable. Here is an example of how alliteration might look in a business document:
  • The second proposed solution was commercially astute, cost effective, and convincing.
Interactive Test

See Also

What is consonance? What is assonance? Try our anagram builder. Glossary of grammatical terms