sound symbolism

noun Linguistics.
  1. a nonarbitrary connection between phonetic features of linguistic items and their meanings, as in the frequent occurrence of close vowels in words denoting smallness, as petite and teeny-weeny.

Origin of sound symbolism

First recorded in 1875–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018