Onomatopoeia: Definition and Examples


Onomatopoeia: Definition and Examples
School education
  1. What Is Onomatopoeia in Poetry?
  2. Examples of Onomatopoeia in Literature
  3. How to Write an Onomatopoeia?

The language we speak has many fascinating properties. One of them is the ability to transmit non-linguistic sounds using letters and words. Learn more about this interesting property and its functions in fiction.

What Is Onomatopoeia in Poetry?

This is a special artistic technique that is designed to convey sounds in writing. That is, it is a direct imitation of the sound phenomena of the environment using linguistic means. For instance, hiccup, howl, crunch, beep, pitter-patter. 


In poetry and other literary texts, this euphonic figure is used infrequently. This technique is also used to achieve an acoustic effect, creating impressions that are not related to real sounds. The main goal of an author is to create a certain picture in our minds, full of sounds and colors.


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Onomatopoeia: Definition and Examples

Examples of Onomatopoeia in Literature

This phenomenon is more common in poetic lines, but sometimes you can notice it in prose. Thanks to using onomatopoeia in a sentence, we get immersed into the situation that a writer paints for us. 


Let us try to get into the atmosphere of jazz and a crowded pub.

Onomatopoeia: Definition and Examples

Look at examples of transposing sounds into prosaic text. 

Onomatopoeia: Definition and Examples

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How to Write an Onomatopoeia?

That is very simple. Write down what you hear with the letters that most convey the sounds. For example, water onomatopoeia can be transmitted as gurgle (bubbling water) or gush (make sounds of a sudden stream or jet). Sound imitation that is used as direct speech is usually taken in quotation marks: «Meow-meow!», «Ahhh!».


Most often, sounds are transformed into verbs. There is even a special dictionary of sound words.

Onomatopoeia: Definition and Examples


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