assonance
assonant, adj., n.assonantal /as'euh nan"tl/, assonantic, adj.
/as"euh neuhns/, n.
1. resemblance of sounds.
2. Also called vowel rhyme. Pros. 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.
3. partial agreement or correspondence.
[1720-30; < F, equiv. to asson(ant) sounding in answer (see AS-, SONANT) + -ance -ANCE]

* * *

      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

      Sometimes two or more vowel sounds are repeated, as in the opening lines of Shelley's “The Indian Serenade,” which creates a musical counterpoint with long i and long e sounds:

I arise from dreams of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night

      Assonance at the end of a line, producing an impure, or off, rhyme, is found in La Chanson de Roland and most French verses composed before the introduction of pure rhyme into French verse in the 12th century. It remains a feature of Spanish and Portuguese poetry. In English verse, assonance is frequently found in the traditional ballads, where its use may have been careless or unavoidable. The last verse of “Sir Patrick Spens” is an example:

Haf owre, haf owre to Aberdour,
It's fiftie fadom deip:
And thair lies guid Sir Patrick Spence,
Wi' the Scots lords at his feit.

      Otherwise, it was rarely used in English as a deliberate technique until the late 19th and 20th centuries, when it was discerned in the works of Gerard Manley Hopkins and Wilfred Owen. Their use of assonance instead of end rhyme was often adopted by such poets as W.H. Auden, Stephen Spender, and Dylan Thomas.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • assonance — [ asɔnɑ̃s ] n. f. • 1690; du lat. adsonare « répondre par un son (écho) », de sonus « son » ♦ Répétition du même son, spécialt de la voyelle accentuée à la fin de chaque vers (belle et rêve). Assonance et rime (⇒aussi allitération) . « des… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • assonancé — assonance [ asɔnɑ̃s ] n. f. • 1690; du lat. adsonare « répondre par un son (écho) », de sonus « son » ♦ Répétition du même son, spécialt de la voyelle accentuée à la fin de chaque vers (belle et rêve). Assonance et rime (⇒aussi …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Assonance — As so*nance, n. [Cf. F. assonance. See {Assonant}.] 1. Resemblance of sound. The disagreeable assonance of sheath and sheathed. Steevens. [1913 Webster] 2. (Pros.) A peculiar species of rhyme, in which the last accented vowel and those which… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Assonance — is repetition of vowel sounds to create internal rhyming within phrases or sentences, and together with alliteration and consonance serves as one of the building blocks of verse. For example, in the phrase Do you like blue? , the oo (ou/ue) sound …   Wikipedia

  • assonance — (n.) 1727, resemblance of sounds between words, from Fr. assonance, from assonant, from L. assonantem (nom. assonans), prp. of assonare to resound, respond to, from ad to (see AD (Cf. ad )) + sonare to sound (see SOUND (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • assonance — index accordance (understanding), consensus Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • assonance — ASSONANCE. s. f. Ressemblance imparfaite de son dans la terminaison des mots. Dans la prose, il ne suffit pas d éviter les rimes à la fin des membres des périodes, il faut éviter les assonances. Or et aurore, peur et heure sont des assonances …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • assonance — ► NOUN ▪ resemblance of sound between words arising from the rhyming of vowels only (e.g. sonnet, porridge) or from use of identical consonants with different vowels (e.g. cold, culled). DERIVATIVES assonant adjective. ORIGIN from Latin assonare… …   English terms dictionary

  • assonance — [as′ə nəns] n. [Fr < L assonans, prp. of assonare, to sound in answer < ad , to + sonare, SOUND1, v.] 1. likeness of sound, as in a series of words or syllables 2. Prosody repetition of a vowel sound in stressed syllables in which the… …   English World dictionary

  • Assonance — L assonance (substantif féminin), de l espagnol asonancia, asonar (verbe) vient du latin adsonare (« répondre à un son par un autre son ») est une figure de style qui consiste en la répétition d un même son vocalique (phonème) dans… …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”