onan·​ism | \ ˈō-nə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce onanism (audio) \

Definition of onanism

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

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Other Words from onanism

onanistic \ ˌō-​nə-​ˈni-​stik How to pronounce onanistic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of onanism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One White House foe famously described Bannon's behavior in office as nothing but a particularly impossible form of onanism. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "In Europe, Steve Bannon can still play the hero," 13 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'onanism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of onanism

1718, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for onanism

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

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Time Traveler for onanism

Time Traveler

The first known use of onanism was in 1718

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Cite this Entry

“Onanism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/onanism. Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for onanism


onan·​ism | \ ˈō-nə-ˌniz-əm How to pronounce onanism (audio) \

Medical Definition of onanism

Other Words from onanism

onanistic \ ˌō-​nə-​ˈnis-​tik How to pronounce onanistic (audio) \ adjective

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