cornucopia

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noun cor·nu·co·pia \ˌkȯr-nə-ˈkō-pē-ə, -nyə-ˈ\

Definition of cornucopia

  1. 1 :  a curved, hollow goat's horn or similarly shaped receptacle (such as a horn-shaped basket) that is overflowing especially with fruit and vegetables (such as gourds, ears of corn, apples, and grapes) and that is used as a decorative motif emblematic of abundance —called also horn of plenty

  2. 2 :  an inexhaustible store :  abundance We marveled at the cornucopia of fruits, meats, toys, fresh fish, baskets, utensils and leather goods for sale in stalls that lined the streets for as far as we could see. — Guy Garcia For contemporary performers, soul represents a cornucopia of musical ideas. — Jon Pareles

  3. 3 :  a receptacle shaped like a horn or cone

cornucopian

play \-pē-ən\ adjective

cornucopia was our Word of the Day on 10/29/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of cornucopia in a sentence

  1. The market is a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables.

  2. The book includes a cornucopia of wonderful stories.

Did You Know?

Cornucopia comes from the Latin cornu copiae, which translates literally as "horn of plenty." A traditional staple of feasts, the cornucopia is believed to represent the horn of a goat from Greek mythology. According to legend, it was from this horn that the god Zeus was fed as an infant. Later, the horn was filled with flowers and fruits, and given as a present to Zeus. The filled horn (or a receptacle resembling it) has long served as a traditional symbol in art and decoration to suggest a store of abundance. The word first appeared in English in the early 16th century; a century later, it developed the figurative sense of an overflowing supply.

Origin and Etymology of cornucopia

Late Latin, from Latin cornu copiae horn of plenty


First Known Use: 1508

Other Handicraft Terms


CORNUCOPIA Defined for English Language Learners

cornucopia

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noun cor·nu·co·pia \ˌkȯr-nə-ˈkō-pē-ə, -nyə-ˈ\

Definition of cornucopia for English Language Learners

  • : a container that is shaped like a horn and is full of fruits and flowers

  • : a great amount or source of something


CORNUCOPIA Defined for Kids

cornucopia

play
noun cor·nu·co·pia \ˌkȯr-nə-ˈkō-pē-ə, -nyə-\

Definition of cornucopia for Students

  1. :  a container in the shape of a horn overflowing with fruits and flowers used as a symbol of plenty



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