Definition of cornucopia
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 : 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 : a receptacle shaped like a horn or cone
cornucopianplay \ˌkȯr-nə-ˈkō-pē-ən, -nyə-ˈkō-\ adjective
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Examples of cornucopia in a Sentence
The market is a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables.
The book includes a cornucopia of wonderful stories.
Recent Examples of cornucopia from the Web
A cornucopia of 44 additional papers are being published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Does this cornucopia include tons of mediocre junk?
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cornucopia'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Cornucopia Has Latin Origins and Greek History
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: 1508See Words from the same year
CORNUCOPIA Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of cornucopia for Students
: a container in the shape of a horn overflowing with fruits and flowers used as a symbol of plenty
Seen and Heard
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