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onomatopoeia Line breaks: ono¦mato|poeia
Pronunciation: /ˌɒnə(ʊ)matəˈpiːə/

Definition of onomatopoeia in English:


[mass noun]
1The formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named (e.g. cuckoo, sizzle).
Example sentences
  • If you're sceptical about the role played by sound symbolism and straight-out onomatopoeia in word origins, Liberman marshals some impressive evidence in its favour.
  • I've been thinking recently about onomatopoeia: the sound words we use to describe actions.
  • The sounds of living, onomatopoeia and words, were the purpose of that voice.
1.1The use of onomatopoeia for literary effect.
Example sentences
  • Paradise Lost is also, of course, filled with mimetic sound effects, onomatopoeia and mimetic syntax, which only work if the poem is sounded.


Late 16th century: via late Latin from Greek onomatopoiia 'word-making', from onoma, onomat- 'name' + -poios 'making' (from poiein 'to make').

Words that rhyme with onomatopoeia

Achaea, aliyah, Almería, Apia, Bahía, Caesarea, Cassiopeia, Chaldea, Cytherea, Euboea, foreseer, freer, galleria, gynaecea, Iphigenia, Kampuchea, kea, keyer, Latakia, Leah, Lucia, Nicaea, Nicosia, Oriya, osteria, Pangaea, Pantelleria, pharmacopoeia, pizzeria, ria, rupiah, sangría, seer, sharia, Shia, skier, spiraea (US spirea), Tanzania, taqueria, Tarpeia, Thea, trachea, trattoria, urea
Definition of onomatopoeia in:
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