Meaning of sound symbolism in English:

sound symbolism


mass noun
  • The partial representation of the sense of a word by its sound, as in bang, fizz, and slide.

    See also onomatopoeia

    ‘Etymologists are very aware of the part played by onomatopoeia and sound symbolism in creating new words.’
    • ‘Thus, the sound of words may be directly onomatopoeic or may give a less overt effect of sound symbolism.’
    • ‘This research forms part of renewed research into the role that sound symbolism plays in language evolution.’
    • ‘Often use of such words of sound symbolism signal your competence in your target language.’
    • ‘The area of sound symbolism and onomatopoeia is an interesting area for studying the production and interpretation of neologisms in language.’