/kon"seuh neuhns/, n.
1. accord or agreement.
2. correspondence of sounds; harmony of sounds.
3. Music. a simultaneous combination of tones conventionally accepted as being in a state of repose. Cf. dissonance (def. 2). See illus. under resolution.
4. Pros.
a. the correspondence of consonants, esp. those at the end of a word, in a passage of prose or verse. Cf. alliteration (def. 1).
b. the use of the repetition of consonants or consonant patterns as a rhyming device.
5. Physics. the property of two sounds the frequencies of which have a ratio equal to a small whole number.
Also, consonancy.
[1350-1400; ME ( < AF) < L consonantia concord. See CONSONANT, -ANCE]
Syn. 1. concord, harmony, correspondence.
Ant. 1. dissonance.

* * *

      the recurrence or repetition of identical or similar consonants; specifically the correspondence of end or intermediate consonants unaccompanied by like correspondence of vowels at the end of two or more syllables, words, or other units of composition.

      As a poetic device, it is often combined with assonance (the repetition of stressed vowel sounds within words with different end consonants) and alliteration (the repetition of initial consonant sounds). Consonance is also occasionally used as an off-rhyme, but it is most commonly found as an internal sound effect, as in Shakespeare's song, “The ousel cock so black of hue,” or “The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,” from Thomas Gray's “Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard.”

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Universalium. 2010.

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