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ONOMATOPOEIA

ONOMATOPOEIA. [Through LATIN from GREEK onomatopoiía making a name. Derived adjectives: both onomatopoeic and onomatopoetic]. A FIGURE OF SPEECH in which: (1) Words are formed from natural sounds: ping, rat-a-tat-tat. (2) Words are used and sometimes adapted, including visually, to suggest a sound: snow crackling and crunching underfoot, R-r-i-i-p-p! (of cloth tearing). In onomatopoeic usage, sound and sense echo and reinforce each other, often using ALLITERATION and ASSONANCE; hence the alternative but more inclusive term ECHOISM. Onomatopoeia is common: (1) In children's stories: Only a bee tree goes, ‘Buzz! Buzz!’ (2) In comic books and cartoons: WHAM! KABOOM! (3) In the language of advertising: All 3 Kodak disc cameras go bzzt, bzzt, flash, flash. One goes tick, tock, beep, beep. And anyone who gets one for the holidays will go ooooohh! (4) When writers want to build up a phonaesthetic effect: ‘The childhood dreams of … the grinning Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum giant swinging his axe … the slush-slurp of the Creature emerging from the Black Lagoon’ ( James Herbert, Shrine, 1983). See PHONAESTHESIA.

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onomatopoeia

onomatopoeia (ŏn´əmăt´əpē´ə) [Gr.,=word-making], in language, the representation of a sound by an imitation thereof; e.g., the cat mews. Poets often convey the meaning of a verse through its very sound. For example, in "Song of the Lotus-Eaters" Tennyson indicates the slow, sensuous, and langorous life of the Lotus-Eaters by the sound of the words he uses to describe the land in which they live:

Here are cool mosses deep,
And through the moss the ivies creep,
And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep,
And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.

Onomatopoeia can also represent harsh and unpleasant sounds, as in Browning's "Meeting at Night" :

A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match.

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onomatopoeia

on·o·mat·o·poe·ia / ˌänəˌmatəˈpēə; -ˌmätə-/ • n. the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named (e.g., cuckoo, sizzle). ∎  the use of such words for rhetorical effect. DERIVATIVES: on·o·mat·o·poe·ic / -ˈpē-ik/ or on·o·mat·o·po·et·ic / -pōˈetik/ adj. on·o·mat·o·poe·i·cal·ly / -ˈpē-ik(ə)lē/ or on·o·mat·o·po·et·i·cal·ly / -pōˈetik(ə)lē/ adv.

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onomatopoeia

onomatopoeia word-formation based on imitation. XVI. — late L. — Gr. onomatopoiíā making of words, f. onomatopoiós, f. ónoma, -mat- NAME + -poios -making.
Hence onomatopoeic, onomatopoetic XIX.

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onomatopoeia

onomatopoeia the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named (e.g. cuckoo, sizzle). Recorded from the late 16th century, the term comes from Greek onomatopoiia ‘word-making’.

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onomatopoeia

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

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