from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In philology, the formation of words by the echoing or imitation of natural sounds, as those caused by the motion of objects, as buzz, whizz, or the characteristic cries of animals, as cuckoo, chickadee, whip-poor-will, etc.; onomatopœia.


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  • The group of words with a fl - sound in them, suggestive of a flame, or the associated group of flight and flutter, suggestive of the flapping of a bird's wing, make neat little packages in which gesture language and echoism both play a part.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XII No 2 1985

  • (as of 1860) an extension of onomatopoeia from pure echoism into a device of rhetoric, namely, "the use of naturally suggestive words, sentences, and forms for rhetorical effect."

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XII No 2 1985


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