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 cornucopian (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

Major league teams have a cornucopia of medicines and potions available to players, all vetted to assure compliance with MLB rules. John Shipley, Twin Cities, "John Shipley: ‘Big Mike’ left Twins in the lurch," 11 Sep. 2019 In the cornucopia of San Diego County agriculture, hops barely register. Peter Rowe, San Diego Union-Tribune, "If this isn’t hop country, why is San Diego harvesting a bumper crop?," 19 Aug. 2019 Yet there was one glaring omission as one wandered through BMW's cornucopia of cars: a three-row SUV. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Go big and go home: The BMW X7 reviewed," 28 June 2019 But Gao isn’t a farmer, and that cornucopia isn’t meant for the table—not yet, anyway. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "To feed its 1.4 billion, China bets big on genome editing of crops," 29 July 2019 Frost Gelato Chill out with tantalizing dark chocolate, sea salt caramel, marble black cherry and Bailey’s Irish Whiskey gelato ($4.70-$6.25, $11.99 pint, $18.99 quart) and a cornucopia of sweet and salty toppings. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Put these 10 frozen desserts on your Phoenix summer bucket list," 26 July 2019 There were subdued prisoner-transport vans operated by G4S security, and then the cornucopia of marked law enforcement Border Patrol and Sheriff’s Department vehicles. Matthew Farwell, The New Republic, "America’s Once and Future Concentration Camp," 3 July 2019 The result is a cornucopia of white flowers and tropical fruit flavors, with waxy mouthfeel. Dave Mcintyre, Washington Post, "Floral and lush, this $12 South African white wine blend blossoms in your glass," 14 June 2019 But considering that no detail is too small for the conceptual performer, that's just the beginning for a show that serves as a true cornucopia for the senses. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "The Story Behind FKA Twigs’ Mesmerizing Magdalene Tour Makeup," 21 May 2019

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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Statistics for cornucopia

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for cornucopia

The first known use of cornucopia was in 1508

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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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