- the formation of a word, as cuckoo, meow, honk, or boom, by imitation of a sound made by or associated with its referent.
- a word so formed.
- the use of imitative and naturally suggestive words for rhetorical, dramatic, or poetic effect.
Origin of onomatopoeia
Related Wordsimitation, reverberation, repetition, reflection, parallel, ringing, rebound, reiteration, repercussion, reproduction, answer, reply, onomatopoeia, parroting, mirror, allegory, allusion, analogy, anticlimax, antithesis
Examples from the Web for onomatopoeia
Mao, the term for a "cat," is obviously an example of onomatopoeia.China and the Chinese
Herbert Allen Giles
Onomatopoeia, formations of words resembling in sound that of the things denoted by them.The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
Edited by Rev. James Wood
All words which were spontaneously acquired seemed to be instances of onomatopoeia.
- the formation of words whose sound is imitative of the sound of the noise or action designated, such as hiss, buzz, and bang
- the use of such words for poetic or rhetorical effect
Word Origin and History for onomatopoeia
1570s, from Late Latin onomatopoeia, from Greek onomatopoiia "the making of a name or word" (in imitation of a sound associated with the thing being named), from onomatopoios, from onoma (genitive onomatos) "word, name" (see name (n.)) + a derivative of poiein "compose, make" (see poet). Related: Onomatopoeic; onomatopoeial.