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

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 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 This area is a four-season cornucopia of outdoor recreation. Sunset Magazine, 9 Aug. 2022 For the next three days, downtown Phoenix will be a cornucopia of cosplay. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 27 May 2022 The experience is overstuffed, a cornucopia of photos from vaguely familiar acquaintances and incongruous sponsored and suggested posts. Wired, 22 July 2022 At its best, capitalism provides a cornucopia of products affordable to ordinary people. Edward Glaeser, WSJ, 13 July 2022 The landscape is a cornucopia of botanicals: Mexican fan palms, weeping figs, button mangrove, narrow sword ferns, great bougainvillea with brilliant crimson blooms, orange jasmine, and golden trumpet with canary yellow blossoms. Jeanine Barone, Forbes, 27 June 2022 Justice, wielding a sword, and Peace, holding a scale in her left hand and a cornucopia in her right hand, each stand on a green porcelain base with gilt-bronze mounts. Natasha Gural, Forbes, 28 June 2022 Late last year Toyota announced ambitious electrification plans for its lineup and showed off a cornucopia of neat-looking concept cars, from a low-slung Lexus supercar to a butch Toyota Tacoma–like pickup truck and an angular Toyota sports car. Caleb Miller, Car and Driver, 14 June 2022 The two-day event plays host to a cornucopia of goodies that essentially acts as a summer kickoff sale. Brittany Vincent, SELF, 6 June 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of cornucopia was in 1508

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Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cornucopia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for cornucopia


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

More from Merriam-Webster on cornucopia

Nglish: Translation of cornucopia for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about cornucopia


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