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What does onomatopoeia mean?

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asked Aug 27, 2015 in Writing and Speaking by AndreaM (20,510 points)
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Onomatopoeia is a word that sounds like the noise that it is describing. These are often words that are used for animal sounds. For example, "meow" or "moo" are words that are intended to sound like the same noise that they mean.

 

However, these words often differ from language to language. For example, in English, the word "honk" is used to describe the sound a car horn makes, but in Chinese the same noise is called "ba-ba." In Portuguese it is "fom-fom."

 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onomatopoeia

http://literarydevices.net/onomatopoeia/

answered Aug 27, 2015 by Mark Wink (13,830 points)
selected Sep 2, 2015 by AndreaM
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An onomatopoeia is a word that imitates a sound. [1] The easiest way to understand onomatopoeic words is by giving some examples.

 

Animal noises are a great place to start. Think about the words that are used to describe the noises that animals make. Words like moo, oink, chirp, meow, woof and roar all sound like the noise that comes from the animal themselves.

 

Water also often has onomatopoeic words associated with it. For instance, the word drip sounds like the noise that is made by dripping water. Likewise, plop, splash and bloop all imitate the sounds that water makes.

 

Words that describe collisions or objects bumping into one another also are often onomatopoeic. Some great examples include bang, thud, boom, thump, clatter or clank. [2]

 

You can even look at cars, boats and trains for examples. Words like vroom, chug, honk, screech, beep-beep and choo-choo all describe the sounds that these modes of transportation make.

 

These fight scenes from the class Batman series provide some more great examples of onomatopoeia in action:

 

 

References:

 

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onomatopoeia

2. http://examples.yourdictionary.com/5-examples-of-onomatopoeia.html

answered Aug 27, 2015 by blueskies (57,070 points)
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Onomatopoeia is described in the Cambridge Dictionary as:

"The act of creating or using words that includes sounds that are similar to the noises the words refer to."

References

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/onomatopoeia

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/onomatopoeia

http://examples.yourdictionary.com/5-examples-of-onomatopoeia.html
answered Sep 15, 2015 by nilupa1973 (35,290 points)

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