Dictionary

onomatopoeia

noun on·o·mato·poe·ia \ˌä-nə-ˌmä-tə-ˈpē-ə, -ˌma-\

: the creation of words that imitate natural sounds

Full Definition of ONOMATOPOEIA

1
:  the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (as buzz, hiss)
2
:  the use of words whose sound suggests the sense
on·o·mato·poe·ic \-ˈpē-ik\ or on·o·mato·po·et·ic \-pō-ˈe-tik\ adjective
on·o·mato·poe·i·cal·ly \-ˈpē-ə-k(ə-)lē\ or on·o·mato·po·et·i·cal·ly \-pō-ˈe-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of ONOMATOPOEIA

  1. Buzz and hiss are examples of onomatopoeia.
  2. The term hiccup is an example of onomatopoeia … —Fred Cicetti, Montague Reporter, 6 Mar. 2008

Origin of ONOMATOPOEIA

Late Latin, from Greek onomatopoiia, from onomat-, onoma name + poiein to make — more at poet
First Known Use: circa 1577

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile
ONOMATOPOEIA Defined for Kids

onomatopoeia

noun on·o·mato·poe·ia \ˌä-nə-ˌma-tə-ˈpē-ə\

Definition of ONOMATOPOEIA for Kids

:  the forming of a word (as buzz or hiss) in imitation of a natural sound

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