cornucopia

noun
cor·​nu·​co·​pia | \ ˌkȯr-nə-ˈkō-pē-ə How to pronounce cornucopia (audio) , -nyə-ˈkō- \

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

Illustration of cornucopia

Illustration of cornucopia

cornucopia a

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Other Words from cornucopia

cornucopian \ ˌkȯr-​nə-​ˈkō-​pē-​ən How to pronounce cornucopia (audio) , -​nyə-​ˈkō-​ \ adjective

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.

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 on the Web If the magma’s ascent is sufficiently rapid and the magma is speedily dehydrated, a cornucopia of nanolites comes into being, which significantly increases the magma’s viscosity. Robin George Andrews, Wired, 6 June 2021 There's a cornucopia of reasons why the restaurant industry has struggled to bring back workers. Melissa Yeager, The Arizona Republic, 5 June 2021 If the magma’s ascent is sufficiently rapid and the magma is speedily dehydrated, a cornucopia of nanolites comes into being, which significantly increases the magma’s viscosity. Quanta Magazine, 1 June 2021 Moynihan was a cornucopia of incongruities, flagrantly Irish — but with the style of an English toff. New York Times, 15 May 2021 While the cornucopia of sugary depravity at your local grocery store will reassure you that, yes, there are a ton of new cereals (Nilla Banana Pudding cereal? Halle Kiefer, Vulture, 31 May 2021 As another season of high strikeout rates and lower batting averages settles in, Major League Baseball has begun its experiment with a cornucopia of rules changes in the minor leagues. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, 15 May 2021 On the menu are a veritable cornucopia of verdant delights including grain bowls and smoothies. Alissa Fitzgerald, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2021 The pairing of WarnerMedia and Discovery offers a cornucopia from which consumers can pick. Frank Pallotta And Kerry Flynn, CNN, 17 May 2021

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.

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First Known Use of cornucopia

1508, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cornucopia

Late Latin, from Latin cornu copiae horn of plenty

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Time Traveler for cornucopia

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The first known use of cornucopia was in 1508

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Last Updated

16 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cornucopia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cornucopia. Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for cornucopia

cornucopia

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cornucopia

: a container that is shaped like a horn and is full of fruits and flowers
: a great amount or source of something

cornucopia

noun
cor·​nu·​co·​pia | \ ˌkȯr-nə-ˈkō-pē-ə How to pronounce cornucopia (audio) , -nyə- \

Kids Definition of cornucopia

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

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