A Word A Day : Onomatopoeia
Friday, 25th January 2008 : Today's Word is ...
Pronunciation : ònna-mato-pee
1. the formation or use of words that imitate the sound associated with something, e.g. hiss and buzz
2. imitation of sound in words
3. using words that imitate the sound they denote
4. Rhetoric : the use of imitative and naturally suggestive words for rhetorical effect
Late 16th century - Via late Latin - Greek onomatopoiia - making of words - onoma name + poiein make
onomatopoeia : the use of words that seem to imitate the sounds they refer to (whack, fizz, crackle, hiss): or any combination of words in which the sound gives the impression of echoing the sense. This figure of speech is often found in poetry, sometimes in prose. It relies more on conventional associations between verbal and non-verbal sounds than on the direct duplication of one by the other.
answer, copy, imitation, mirror, mirror image, onomatopoeia, parallel, parroting, rebound, reflection, reiteration, repercussion, repetition, reply, reproduction, reverberation, ringing, rubber stamp
• He listened to the onomatopoeia of the faucet's drip, drip, drip.
• If the sound of the words actually imitates the sound of the thing indicated, the effect is called Onomatopoeia.
• onomatopoeic : Adjective
• onomatopoeically : Adverb
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