onomatopoeia

[on-uh-mat-uh-pee-uh, ‐mah-tuh‐]
See more synonyms for onomatopoeia on Thesaurus.com
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.

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 onomatopoetic

imitative, onomatopoeic, onomatopoetic, mimic, parrot, mimetic, mimicking

Examples from the Web for onomatopoetic

Historical Examples of onomatopoetic

  • In the cultural languages they recur, if at all, only in the onomatopoetic word-formations of later origin.

  • The use of onomatopoetic words, words whose sound signifies the sense, is so common that we seldom give it a thought.

    Rhymes and Meters

    Horatio Winslow

  • Then follows the march, expressed both in musical notes and onomatopoetic words.

    Shakespeare and Music

    Edward W. Naylor

  • “Literary impressionism,” which is largely the use of onomatopoetic words, is a valuable factor in the artistic short story.

  • As we know, music is a language which may delineate actual occurrences by means of onomatopoetic sounds.


British Dictionary definitions for onomatopoetic

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
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 onomatopoetic

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper