A Word A Day : Onomatopoeia

Friday, 25th January 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Noun )

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

Contextual Examples:

• 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.

Related Words:

onomatopoeic : Adjective

onomatopoeically : Adverb

Enjoy this list and then get around for preparing your own list of words. There is no better way of boosting your words power. The most effective way to build your vocabulary is described in the page on Word Power. Educational research has discovered that your I.Q. is intimately related to your Word Power. Take a standard Vocabulary test and then an intelligent test, the result in both will be substantially the same. The more extensive your vocabulary, the better your chances of success, other things being equal- success in attaining your educational goals, success in moving ahead in your business or professional career, success in achieving your intellectual potential.

Previous Word| Next Word | A Word A Day | Onomatopoeia to HOME PAGE

Follow These Links!