Do you know what assonance is? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on assonance, including its definition, usage, example sentences, and more!
What is assonance?
According to Your Dictionary, assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in poetry and prose to create rhyme, rhythm or mood. Similar to alliteration and consonance, the repetition of a consonant sound, this literary device is used by a poet or writer to create a feeling with language. You can use assonance with similar vowel sounds just like consonance or alliteration use different consonants like “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.” In assonance, these can be considered internal rhymes. These slant rhyme schemes are also used often in rap.
Many different languages also contain words that mean assonance. You may notice that some of these translations of assonance look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are words and phrases in different languages that likely have the same root or language of origin, causing them to sound the same. The below list of translations of assonance is provided by Word Sense.
- Bulgarian: съзвучие (neut.)
- Finnish: assonanssi
- Spanish: asonancia (fem.)
- Tagalog: parihunig
- Swedish: assonans (common)
- Ido: asonanco
- Turkish: asonans
- Maori: oropuare tārua
- Russian: ассона́нс (masc.)
- Catalan: assonància (fem.)
- Albanian: asonancë
What are examples of assonance?
Assonance can be used in many different contexts in the English language. Trying to use a word or literary technique in a sentence is one of the best ways to memorize what it is, but you can also try making flashcards or quizzes that test your knowledge. Try using this term of the day in a sentence today! Below are a couple of examples of assonance that can help get you started incorporating this tool into your everyday use. Take a look at these tongue twisters and assonance examples from Your Dictionary and see how many you can say! Some of them are quite a challenge. Others are from famous authors and writers.
- “The crumbling thunder of seas” – The Feast of Famine by Robert Louis Stevenson
- “In the over-mastering loneliness of that moment, his whole life seemed to him nothing but vanity.” – Night Rider by Robert Penn Warren
- “Poetry is old, ancient, goes back far. It is among the oldest of living things. So old it is that no man knows how and why the first poems came.” – Early Moon by Carl Sandburg
- “A lanky, six-foot, pale boy with an active Adam’s apple …” – Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
- The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
- “The setting sun was licking the hard bright machine like some great invisible beast on its knees.” – Death, Sleep, and the Traveler by John Hawkes
- “The spider skins lie on their sides, translucent and ragged, their legs drying in knots.” – Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard
- “Hear the mellow wedding bells” – “The Bells” by Edgar Allen Poe
- “A rolling stone gathers no moss” – proverb attributed to Publilius Syrus
- “It’s hot and it’s monotonous.” – It’s Hot Up in Here by Stephen Sondheim
- “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” – Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
- “And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain” assonance” – The Raven
- “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.” – Do No Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas
- The early bird catches the worm.
- “Strips of tinfoil winking like people” – The Bee Meeting by Sylvia Plath
- “And stepping softly with her air of blooded ruin about the glade in a frail agony of grace she trailed her rags through dust and ashes, circling the dead fire, the charred billets and chalk bones, the little calcined ribcage.” – Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy
- That’s an awfully hot coffee pot.
- “Hear the lark and harken to the barking of the dark fox gone to ground” – Grantchester Meadows by Pink Floyd
- “Those images that yet/Fresh images beget,/That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea.” – Byzantium by W.B. Yeats
- “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” – Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
- “The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain.” – My Fair Lady by Alan Jay Lerner
- “When he was nearly thirteen” – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- “If I bleat when I speak it’s because I just got . . . fleeced.” – Deadwood by Al Swearengen
- “I must confess that in my quest I felt depressed and restless.” – With Love by Thin Lizzy
What are other literary techniques and devices?
There are many different literary and grammatical techniques and devices that you might see when you are reading prose or poetry. It is important to recognize these devices because they are always used for some purpose. Knowing these devices can help readers understand the author’s deeper meaning and why they are using such a device. Take a look at the below list of literary devices from Reedsy and see how many you know! Then try researching ones that are unfamiliar to you.
- Frame story
- Dramatic irony
- Point of view
- Cumulative sentence
- In Medias Res
Overall, the word assonance refers to repeated vowel sounds.