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Word of the Day
Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Definitions for onomatopoeia

  1. the formation of a word, as cuckoo, meow, honk, or boom, by imitation of a sound made by or associated with its referent.
  2. a word so formed.
  3. the use of imitative and naturally suggestive words for rhetorical, dramatic, or poetic effect.

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Citations for onomatopoeia
… lyric poetry relies on imagery, as well as on the aural effects of onomatopoeia, alliteration, assonance, and consonance that enhance content and please the ear. Susan Ioannou, "Know Your Critics," Holding True: Essays on Being a Writer, 2010
… practice putting meaning into words. One good exercise is saying words so they sound like what they mean. You are probably thinking this means onomatopoeia--using words like "clang," "snap" or "woof" that imitate the sounds they define. This is different. This is saying the word so that your tone of voice conveys its meaning. James W. McElhaney, "Reading Out Loud," ABA Journal, October 1992
Origin of onomatopoeia
Onomatopoeia stems from the Greek onomatopoiía meaning "making of words," drawing from ónoma meaning "name" and poieîn meaning "to make." It entered English in the mid-1500s.