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Consonance Definition

A stylistic device, often used in poetry. It is the repetition of consonant sounds in a short sequence of words, for example, the "t" sound in "Is it blunt and flat?" Alliteration differs from consonance insofar as alliteration requires the repeated consonant sound to be at the beginning of each word, where in consonance it is anywhere within the word, although often at the end. In half rhyme, the terminal consonant sound is repeated. A special species of consonance is using a series of sibilant sounds (/s/ and /sh/ for example); this is sometimes known simply as sibilance.

Consonance Poem Example

  1. Several good examples of sibilance come from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" For example: "And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain" (note that this example also contains assonance around the "ur" sound).
  2. Another example of consonance is the word 'sibilance' itself.

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Other Consonance Definition

[n] the property of sounding harmonious
[n] the repetition of consonants (or consonant patterns) especially at the ends of words

See Also...

harmony, rhyme, rime

Misc. Definitions

\Con"so*nance\, Consonancy \Con"so*nan*cy\, n. [L. consonantia: cf. F. consonnance.]
1. (Mus.) Accord or agreement of sounds produced simultaneously, as a note with its third, fifth, and eighth.
2. Agreement or congruity; harmony; accord; consistency; suitableness. The perfect consonancy of our persecuted church to the doctrines of Scripture and antiquity. --Hammond. The optic nerve responds to the waves with which it is in consonance. --Tyndall.
3. Friendship; concord. [Obs.] By the consonancy of our youth. --Shak. Syn: Agreement; accord; consistency; unison; harmony; congruity; suitableness; agreeableness.

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