onomatopoeia

[ on-uh-mat-uh-pee-uh, ‐mah-tuh‐ ]
/ ˌɒn əˌmæt əˈpi ə, ‐ˌmɑ tə‐ /

noun

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.

Nearby words

  1. onomasticon,
  2. onomastics,
  3. onomatology,
  4. onomatomania,
  5. onomatophobia,
  6. onomatopoeic,
  7. onondaga,
  8. onondaga lake,
  9. onondagan,
  10. onr

Origin of onomatopoeia

1570–80; < Late Latin < Greek onomatopoiía making of words, equivalent to onomato- (combining form of ónoma name) + poi- (stem of poieîn to make; see poet) + -ia -ia

Related formson·o·mat·o·poe·ic, on·o·mat·o·po·et·ic [on-uh-mat-uh-poh-et-ik] /ˌɒn əˌmæt ə poʊˈɛt ɪk/, adjectiveon·o·mat·o·poe·i·cal·ly, on·o·mat·o·po·et·i·cal·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for onomatopoeic



British Dictionary definitions for onomatopoeic

onomatopoeia

/ (ˌɒnəˌmætəˈpiːə) /

noun

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
Derived Formsonomatopoeic or onomatopoetic (ˌɒnəˌmætəpəʊˈɛtɪk), adjectiveonomatopoeically or onomatopoetically, adverb

Word Origin for onomatopoeia

C16: via Late Latin from Greek onoma name + poiein to make

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

Word Origin and History for onomatopoeic
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper