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[oh-nuh-niz-uh m] /ˈoʊ nəˌnɪz əm/
withdrawal of the penis in sexual intercourse so that ejaculation takes place outside the vagina; coitus interruptus.
Origin of onanism
1720-30; after Onan, son of Judah (Gen. 38:9); see -ism
Related forms
onanist, noun
onanistic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for onanism


another name for masturbation, coitus interruptus
Derived Forms
onanist, noun, adjective
onanistic, adjective
Word Origin
C18: after Onan, son of Judah; see Genesis 38:9
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for onanism

"masturbation," also "coitus interruptus," 1727, from Onan, son of Judah (Gen. xxxviii:9), who spilled his seed on the ground rather than impregnate his dead brother's wife: "And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother." The moral of this verse was redirected by those who sought to suppress masturbation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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onanism in Medicine

onanism o·nan·ism (ō'nə-nĭz'əm)

  1. See coitus interruptus.

  2. Masturbation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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