Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

onset

[on-set, awn-]
See more synonyms for onset on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a beginning or start: the onset of winter.
  2. an assault or attack: an onset of the enemy.
  3. Phonetics. the segment of a syllable preceding the nucleus, as the gr in great.Compare coda(def 5), core1(def 14).
Show More

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. 2018

Examples from the Web for onset

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for onset

onset

noun
  1. an attack; assault
  2. a start; beginning
Show More
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

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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

onset in Medicine

onset

(ŏnsĕt′)
n.
  1. A beginning; a start, as of a cold.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.