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Welcome to Young Writers' free Poetry Glossary

What is Alliteration?

Alliteration is the repetition of the same sound or letter at the beginning of each or most of the words in a sentence. The easiest way to use alliteration would be to repeat the starting letter of the words.

Examples – Using alliteration with a letter

Anxious ants avoid the anteater's advances.

Squawking seagulls swoop on sunbathers.

The wild winds whisk to the west.

Zany zebras zigzagged through the zoo.

For a more complex form of alliteration you can use the the first syllable of the words, using the same sound to make the alliteration effect.

Example – Using alliteration with the first syllable

The allure of alliteration allows all authors
To perfect the punch of their poetry and prose
Writers weave their witty, wonderful words into webs;
Sparkling spiderwebs spun by specialised specimens
To tempt, tease and trap their intended targets.

Alliteration is used in poetry to create different effects, either for a reflective description or to create more drama or danger.

Why don't you try writing a poem using alliteration and enter it into one of our poetry competitions.

More poetry terms:

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Please see below for other poetry terms!
Please also visit our Poetry Glossary – Poetry Types