[ on-set, awn- ]
See synonyms for onset on Thesaurus.com
  1. a beginning or start: the onset of winter.

  2. an assault or attack: an onset of the enemy.

  1. Phonetics. the segment of a syllable preceding the nucleus, as the gr in great.: Compare coda (def. 5), core1 (def. 14).

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Origin of onset

1525–35; on + set, after the verb phrase set on

Words Nearby onset

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use onset in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for onset


/ (ˈɒnˌsɛt) /

  1. an attack; assault

  2. a start; beginning

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