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onomatopoeia

[ on-uh-mat-uh-pee-uh, ‐mah-tuh‐ ]
/ ˌɒn əˌmæt əˈpi ə, ‐ˌmɑ tə‐ /
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See synonyms for: onomatopoeia / onomatopoeic / onomatopoetic on Thesaurus.com

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.

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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
on·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. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for onomatopoeia

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
onomatopoeic or onomatopoetic (ˌɒnəˌmætəpəʊˈɛtɪk), adjectiveonomatopoeically or onomatopoetically, adverb
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
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