Onomatopoeia: Wonderful List of 120+ Words that Describe Sounds

Have you ever heard a word that sounds like the sound it describes? That’s called onomatopoeia. It’s a literary device that is used to describe a sound by imitating it with a word. For example, the word “buzz” imitates the sound of a bee. Onomatopoeia is used in literature, poetry, and even in everyday language.

Onomatopoeia is a fun and creative way to add depth and interest to your writing. It can add a sense of realism and make your writing more engaging for the reader. In this article, we’ll explore the definition of onomatopoeia, its uses in literature, and provide some examples of how you can use it in your own writing.

Onomatopoeia Words

Onomatopoeia: Wonderful List of 120+ Words that Describe Sounds

Onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia Definition

You may have heard the term “onomatopoeia” before, but do you know what it means? Onomatopoeia is a word or group of words that imitates or suggests the sound that it describes. Essentially, it’s a word that sounds like what it represents.

Onomatopoeia is used in various forms of writing, such as poetry, comics, and literature, to create a more vivid and sensory experience for the reader. It can help to bring a scene to life and make it more engaging.

Some common examples of onomatopoeic words include “buzz,” “hiss,” “bang,” and “crash.” These words mimic the sounds of bees, snakes, explosions, and collisions, respectively.

It’s important to note that not all words that sound like what they represent are considered onomatopoeia. For example, the word “sizzle” sounds like the sound of food cooking on a hot surface, but it’s not considered onomatopoeia because it’s not an imitation of the sound itself.

In addition to single words, onomatopoeia can also be created through phrases or sentences. For example, the phrase “tick-tock” imitates the sound of a clock ticking, and the sentence “the leaves rustled in the wind” creates a sense of sound through the use of descriptive language.

Onomatopoeia Words

  • Boom!
  • Zap!
  • Baam
  • Pow
  • Bag!
  • Baang
  • Pop
  • Bubble
  • Purr
  • Kapow!
  • Buzz
  • Yawn
  • Huh?
  • Crack!
  • Zonk
  • Biff
  • Whap!
  • Krunch
  • Pow pow
  • Wham!
  • Ooh!
  • Smash!
  • Kaboom!
  • Hmm…
  • Ouch
  • Dorr!!
  • Poof!
  • Gulp!
  • Aargh!
  • Crush!
  • Snap!
  • Grrrrr!
  • Crunch
  • Chok!
  • Click
  • Hoot
  • OMG!
  • Oh!
  • Bamm!
  • WTF (What’s the f***?)
  • LOL (Laughing out loud)
  • Hey
  • Cool
  • Bam
  • Hiss
  • Bang
  • Choom
  • Splash!
  • Eek
  • Belch
  • Babble
  • Warble
  • Hum
  • Slam
  • Gasp
  • Mumble
  • Moan
  • Gurgle
  • Splat!
  • Ka-pow!
  • Honk
  • Beep
  • Vroom
  • Clang
  • Boing
  • Cuckoo
  • Whip-poor-will
  • Chickadee
  • Crash
  • Whack
  • Thump
  • Shush
  • Giggle
  • Growl
  • Whine
  • Murmur
  • Blurt
  • Drip
  • Spray
  • Whoosh
  • Rustle
  • Zoom
  • Swoosh
  • Zing
  • Zip
  • Tap
  • Snip
  • Knock
  • Rap
  • Thwack
  • Flap
  • Smack
  • Creak
  • Squeak
  • Pop
  • Boing
  • Sizzle
  • Fizzle
  • Clack
  • Jingle
  • Rattle
  • Clatter
  • Blare
  • Shriek
  • Ding
  • Drum
  • Throb
  • Twang
  • Plink
  • Plunk
  • Bong
  • Squish
  • Slush
  • Burble
  • Gurgle
  • Glug
  • Splatter
  • Fizz
  • Plop
  • Puff
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Types of Onomatopoeia

Phonetic Onomatopoeia

Phonetic onomatopoeia is the most common type of onomatopoeia. It uses words that sound like the sound they are describing. For example, the word “buzz” sounds like the sound a bee makes. Other examples of phonetic onomatopoeia include “hiss,” “crackle,” and “pop.”

Phonetic onomatopoeia is often used in comic books and graphic novels to add emphasis to sound effects. It can also be used in poetry and prose to create vivid imagery and a sense of realism.

Phenomimetic Onomatopoeia

Phenomimetic onomatopoeia uses words that mimic the physical movement or action that is associated with the sound. For example, the word “swish” mimics the sound of a broom sweeping the floor. Other examples of phenomimetic onomatopoeia include “slap,” “crunch,” and “splash.”

Phenomimetic onomatopoeia is often used in advertising and marketing to create a sense of action and excitement. It can also be used in literature to create a sense of movement and energy.

Psychomimetic Onomatopoeia

Psychomimetic onomatopoeia uses words that mimic the psychological or emotional response to a sound. For example, the word “boom” can be used to describe the sound of an explosion, but it can also be used to convey a sense of power and strength. Other examples of psychomimetic onomatopoeia include “whisper,” “scream,” and “moan.”

Psychomimetic onomatopoeia is often used in poetry and literature to create a sense of mood and emotion. It can also be used in advertising and marketing to create a sense of excitement and anticipation.

Usage in Literature

Poetry

In poetry, onomatopoeia is used to create a musical effect, to emphasize certain sounds, or to create a particular mood or atmosphere. Poets often use onomatopoeic words to create a sensory experience for the reader, making the poem more engaging and memorable.

For example, in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Bells,” the repeated use of onomatopoeic words such as “tinkle,” “jingle,” and “clang” creates a musical effect that adds to the overall tone of the poem.

Prose

Onomatopoeia is also used in prose to create a more immersive reading experience. By using onomatopoeic words, writers can create a more vivid and realistic description of a particular sound, making the reader feel as though they are experiencing the sound themselves.

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For example, in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” the repeated use of onomatopoeic words such as “whack,” “thump,” and “splash” creates a vivid description of the sound of the fish hitting the side of the boat, adding to the overall realism of the story.

Usage in Media

Comics

Comics are a form of media that heavily relies on onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeic words are used to create sound effects that help readers to visualize what is happening in the story. These words are usually written in bold and placed near the action to draw the reader’s attention. Here are some examples of onomatopoeic words used in comics:

  • Bam!
  • Pow!
  • Wham!
  • Thud!
  • Zoom!

Movies and TV Shows

Movies and TV shows also use onomatopoeia to create a more immersive experience for the viewer. Sound effects are used to enhance the visual effects and create a more realistic atmosphere. Here are some examples of onomatopoeic words used in movies and TV shows:

  • Sizzle
  • Boom
  • Crash
  • Buzz
  • Hiss

In addition to sound effects, onomatopoeia is also used in dialogue to create a more natural and realistic conversation. For example, a character may say “ouch” when they are hurt, or “mmm” when they are enjoying food.

Impact on Language

Onomatopoeia has a significant impact on language as it allows for the creation of words that directly imitate the sounds they represent. This form of figurative language is frequently used in poetry and literature to create vivid and sensory descriptions that engage the reader’s imagination.

Moreover, onomatopoeic words are often used in everyday speech, particularly when describing sounds. For example, words like “buzz,” “hiss,” and “crackle” are commonly used to describe the sounds of insects, snakes, and fires, respectively. These words not only make language more colorful and descriptive but also help to convey meaning more effectively.

Interestingly, research has shown that onomatopoeic words are easier for children to learn than arbitrary words. This is because the sound of the word is directly connected to the object or action it represents, making it easier for children to remember and understand.

Onomatopoeia is also used in advertising and branding to create memorable slogans and product names. For example, the popular candy brand “Skittles” uses an onomatopoeic name that directly imitates the sound of the candy being poured into a hand. This helps to make the brand name more memorable and catchy.

In conclusion, onomatopoeia plays a significant role in language and communication. It allows for the creation of descriptive and memorable words that engage the reader’s imagination and make language more colorful and expressive.

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Onomatopoeia in Different Cultures

Onomatopoeia is not limited to a single language or culture. Different cultures have their own unique way of expressing sounds through words. Here are some examples of onomatopoeia in different cultures:

Japanese

Japanese onomatopoeia is known for its vast variety. It is used extensively in everyday conversations, anime, and manga. Some examples include:

  • Gacha Gacha: The sound of something hard and brittle breaking.
  • Pachi Pachi: The sound of clapping or applause.
  • Kira Kira: The sound of something sparkling or glittering.

Russian

Russian onomatopoeia is also quite diverse. Here are some examples:

  • Gav Gav: The sound of a dog barking.
  • Krya Krya: The sound of a duck quacking.
  • Tuk Tuk: The sound of knocking.

French

French onomatopoeia is often used to describe sounds made by animals. Here are some examples:

  • Miaou: The sound of a cat meowing.
  • Cocorico: The sound of a rooster crowing.
  • Coin Coin: The sound of a duck quacking.

SpanishSpanish onomatopoeia is often used to describe sounds made by humans and animals. Here are some examples:

  • Chispa: The sound of something sparking.
  • Gruñido: The sound of a growl.
  • Tic Tac: The sound of a clock ticking.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the definition of onomatopoeia?

Onomatopoeia is a figure of speech in which words imitate or suggest the sound of the thing they describe. For example, the word “buzz” imitates the sound of a bee.

What are some examples of onomatopoeia?

Some common examples of onomatopoeia include “hiss,” “crackle,” “pop,” “sizzle,” and “murmur.”

How is onomatopoeia used in grammar?

Onomatopoeia is often used in poetry and creative writing to create vivid imagery and sensory experiences for the reader. In grammar, onomatopoeic words can be used as adjectives or adverbs to describe the sound of a verb or noun.

What are the different types of onomatopoeia?

There are several types of onomatopoeia, including direct imitation (words that imitate the sound they describe, like “buzz”), indirect imitation (words that suggest a sound, like “whisper”), and compound onomatopoeia (words that combine multiple sounds, like “clang-clang”).

What is the meaning of onomatopoeia in Hindi?

The meaning of onomatopoeia in Hindi is “ध्वनिमिमांसा” (Dhvani Mimansa).

What is a kid-friendly explanation of onomatopoeia?

Onomatopoeia is when a word sounds like the thing it’s describing. For example, the word “meow” sounds like the noise a cat makes. It’s a fun way to make writing more interesting and exciting!

Last Updated on August 29, 2023

13 thoughts on “Onomatopoeia: Wonderful List of 120+ Words that Describe Sounds”

  1. Why are words like “Wow!”, “What” and “Ooops” in the image demonstrating onomatopoeia examples? They definitely are not onomatopoeia words- they’re instead examples of interjections or exclamations.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your positive feedback and for pointing out the mistake, I appreciate your help in making my work better.

      Reply

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