onset

[ on-set, awn- ]
/ ˈɒnˌsɛt, ˈɔn- /

noun

a beginning or start: the onset of winter.
an assault or attack: an onset of the enemy.
Phonetics. the segment of a syllable preceding the nucleus, as the gr in great.Compare coda(def 5), core1(def 14).

Nearby words

  1. onr,
  2. onrush,
  3. onrushing,
  4. ons,
  5. onsager,
  6. onshore,
  7. onshoring,
  8. onside,
  9. onside kick,
  10. onslaught

Origin of onset

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

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

Examples from the Web for onset


British Dictionary definitions for onset

onset

/ (ˈɒnˌsɛt) /

noun

an attack; assault
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

Word Origin and History for onset

onset

n.

1530s, "attack, assault," from on + set (n.); cf. to set (something) on (someone). Weaker sense of "beginning, start" first recorded 1560s. Figurative use in reference to a calamity, disease, etc. is from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for onset

onset

[ ŏnsĕt′ ]

n.

A beginning; a start, as of a cold.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.