Definition of alliterative in English:


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  • Relating to or marked by alliteration.

    ‘alliterative assonance such as “sails of silver”’
    • ‘alliterative poetry’
    • ‘Spenser begins the stanza with an alliterative play upon ‘joyous’ and ‘just’ which lightens the atmosphere after the sober and tense portrayal of the knight's penance, while emphasising the worth of Charissa's lesson.’
    • ‘White's lyricism, sometimes reminiscent of Jean Toomer's sentence fragments and poetic repetition, and her metaphorical and alliterative use of language make her fiction almost indistinguishable from her poetry.’
    • ‘Such methods went on to form the basis of the first written English poetry, Anglo-Saxon alliterative verse.’
    • ‘The poems are alliterative, disjunctive, unpunctuated, fabular, and also political, based as they are on maps and their borders and flags.’
    • ‘Southwell appears to have chosen a vernacular, alliterative style not only as a repudiation of contemporary poetic practice but also because such a style makes a statement about continuity and patriotism.’
    • ‘Gawain is written in a newer form for the time, known as the ‘bob and wheel,’ in which each strophe of verse ends with a five line rhymed tag, which is also alliterative in its structure.’
    • ‘All of the verbs in this excerpt are polysyllabic, strategically alliterative, and speak to various kinds of action that jolt the reader.’
    • ‘Both of these poems contain alliterative sequences of unrelated words.’
    • ‘The attempt to place Thomas in the Welsh bardic tradition because of his alliterative style largely fails since the poet himself disputed it.’
    • ‘A few passages of Irish heroic poetry that survive from the prehistoric period employ an alliterative line very much like the one used by Old English poets.’
    • ‘Hometowns are often used by sports writers in creating alliterative nicknames.’
    • ‘In the Heliand, a ninth-century Old Saxon alliterative verse retelling of the gospel, Christ teaches his disciples the secret runes that God spoke in the beginning when he called the world into being.’
    • ‘Much of this poetry fell squarely in the northern European tradition, and the literary revival of the north-west and the Midlands in the fourteenth century was mainly of alliterative, unrhymed verse.’
    • ‘David Myers' novel The Bohemian Bourgeois is the true inheritor of that line, his protagonist's name appropriately alliterative, his behaviour equally roguish.’
    • ‘The stately and complex narrative is composed in the alliterative metre common to most early Germanic poetry, and is enhanced by rich description, decorous speeches, and moral reflection.’
    • ‘The two-man chorus is lent an alliterative, Anglo-Saxon form reminiscent of Heaney's Beowulf.’
    • ‘A magnificent performer on the page, she can flip, mid-paragraph, into alliterative mode to underline a point: ‘The world is flux, flow and fruitfully fermenting doubt.’’
    • ‘Each new translation of Gawain's travails places the translator in conflict with the original text - how to recreate the narrative's pace, the alliterative swatches of language, the tale's uncanny aura?’
    • ‘In the course of an hour this guy must have spoken 42,000 words, many thousand being Shakespeare quotes and alliterative adjectives describing his philosophy, his past as an actor and his experiences as a WWII British navy man.’
    • ‘Nelson and Napoleon were celebrated - and appropriately alliterative - antagonists, though they never confronted each other directly in battle.’



/əˈlidərədiv/ /əˈlɪdərədɪv/ /əˈlidəˌrādiv/ /əˈlɪdəˌreɪdɪv/