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onomatopoeia

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

Simple Definition of onomatopoeia

  • : the creation of words that imitate natural sounds

Full Definition of onomatopoeia

  1. 1 :  the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (as buzz, hiss)

  2. 2 :  the use of words whose sound suggests the sense

on·o·mato·poe·ic play \-ˈpē-ik\ or on·o·mato·po·et·ic play \-pō-ˈe-tik\ adjective
on·o·mato·poe·i·cal·ly play \-ˈpē-ə-k(ə-)lē\ or on·o·mato·po·et·i·cal·ly play \-pō-ˈe-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of onomatopoeia

  1. The term hiccup is an example of onomatopoeia … —Fred Cicetti, Montague Reporter, 6 Mar. 2008

  2. You might think it was an onomatopoeia of the sound a Frisbee makes as it moves through the air, but the name has been attributed for years to the Frisbie Pie Company of Bridgeport, Conn., which went out of business in 1958. —Mark Danna, Sports Illustrated, 11 May 1987

  3. Buzz and hiss are examples of onomatopoeia.



Origin of onomatopoeia

Late Latin, from Greek onomatopoiia, from onomat-, onoma name + poiein to make — more at poet


First Known Use: circa 1577

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