Paraphrase Tool


Updated May 16, 2023

Understanding the Rhetorical Device of Synaloepha

Have you ever come across a sentence or phrase that seems to flow effortlessly, with words merging together seamlessly? If so, you may have encountered the rhetorical device of synaloepha. Synaloepha, also known as synalepha or synaloephe, plays a crucial role in enhancing the rhythm and fluidity of language. In this blog article, we will explore the concept of synaloepha, its purpose, and provide accurate examples to help you grasp this literary technique.

What is Synaloepha?

Synaloepha is a phonetic phenomenon that occurs when two adjacent syllables, usually at the end of one word and the beginning of another, merge together to form a single syllable. This merging of syllables aids in maintaining the rhythmic flow of a sentence or phrase. Synaloepha is commonly used in poetry, lyrics, and speeches to create a harmonious and melodic effect.

Purpose and Effects of Synaloepha

The primary purpose of synaloepha is to enhance the rhythm and musicality of the language, making it more pleasing to the ear. By combining two syllables into one, synaloepha avoids any disruption in the flow of speech or writing. It helps maintain a smooth and uninterrupted sound, adding a lyrical quality to the words.

The use of synaloepha can also contribute to the overall pacing and meter of a piece of writing. In poetry, it helps maintain the desired meter, such as iambic pentameter or trochaic tetrameter. By merging syllables, the poet can ensure that the poem follows the intended rhythm and creates a specific poetic effect.

Examples of Synaloepha

Let's explore some accurate examples of synaloepha in different contexts:

  1. Shakespeare's Sonnet 18: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" In this famous line, the "to a" merges together due to synaloepha, resulting in a smooth flow of speech.

  2. Song Lyrics - "Hey Jude" by The Beatles: "Hey Jude, don't make it bad." The word "make" and the following "it" merge together through synaloepha, creating a seamless transition between the words.

  3. Speech - Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream": "We cannot walk alone." In this sentence, the word "walk" and the following "alone" blend together, producing a rhythmic and impactful delivery.

  4. Poem - "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe: "Once upon a midnight dreary." Synaloepha is present in the phrase "upon a," where the "u" sound in "upon" merges with the following "a," creating a poetic and melodic effect.


Synaloepha is a powerful rhetorical device that contributes to the musicality and rhythm of language. By merging two adjacent syllables into one, synaloepha helps maintain a smooth and harmonious flow in speech, writing, poetry, lyrics, and speeches. It adds a lyrical quality, enhances pacing, and contributes to the overall effectiveness of the composition. Through accurate examples, we hope this article has shed light on the concept of synaloepha and its significance in the realm of literature and communication.


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