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onomatopoeia

[on-uh-mat-uh-pee-uh, ‐mah-tuh‐]
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noun
  1. the formation of a word, as cuckoo, meow, honk, or boom, by imitation of a sound made by or associated with its referent.
  2. a word so formed.
  3. the use of imitative and naturally suggestive words for rhetorical, dramatic, or poetic effect.
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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. 2018

Related Words for onomatopoeic

imitative, onomatopoetic, mimic, parrot, mimetic, mimicking

Examples from the Web for onomatopoeic

Historical Examples of onomatopoeic

  • In Language, its Origin and Development , he upholds the onomatopoeic theory.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 15, Slice 7

    Various

  • With onomatopoeic effects it gives a vivid if unfriendly picture of a blacksmith's forge on a busy night.

  • In the vernacular the point is brought out by the onomatopoeic character of the lines, which cannot be rendered in English.


British Dictionary definitions for onomatopoeic

onomatopoeia

noun
  1. the formation of words whose sound is imitative of the sound of the noise or action designated, such as hiss, buzz, and bang
  2. the use of such words for poetic or rhetorical effect
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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

adj.

1860, from French onomatopoéique or else from onomatopoeia + -ic.

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onomatopoeia

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper