onanism

play
noun onan·ism \ ˈō-nə-ˌni-zəm \

Definition of onanism

3 :self-gratification
  • the kind of intellectual onanism to which he was dedicated
  • —Esther P. Shiverick

onanistic

play \ˌō-nə-ˈni-stik\ adjective

Origin and Etymology of onanism

probably from New Latin onanismus, from Onan, son of Judah (Genesis 38:9)


Medical Dictionary

onanism

play
noun onan·ism \ ˈō-nə-ˌniz-əm \

medical Definition of onanism

onanistic

play \ˌō-nə-ˈnis-tik\ adjective

Biographical Note for onanism

  • Onan play \ˈō-nən\ Biblical character. In the Book of Genesis Onan was commanded by his father to impregnate the widow of his slain brother and to raise the offspring of the union. In order to avoid raising descendants for his late brother, however, Onan engaged in coitus interruptus.

  • Learn More about onanism


    Seen and Heard

    What made you want to look up onanism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

    Love words? Need even more definitions?

    Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

    WORD OF THE DAY

    a strongly worded attack

    Get Word of the Day daily email!

    Test Your Vocabulary

    Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

    • young-plant-shoots
    • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
    How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

    Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    Bee Cubed

    Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

    TAKE THE QUIZ

    Love words? Need even more definitions?

    Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!