Figures of speech are literary devices which are used to convey ideas that go beyond their literal meaning.
In English, there are more than 200 different types of figures of speech. Onomatopoeia is one of them.
Onomatopoeia is a figure of speech in which words are used that closely resemble their sound. It is the use of sounds produced by people, animals, objects, and natural occurrences. Onomatopoeia, like alliteration, gives the words or verses a lyrical feel.
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- The audible purr of the kitten (The word ‘purr‘ is an onomatopoeic sound because it resembles the actual purring sound made by kittens.)
- The battleground resonated with the clanking of the swords. (The word ‘clanking‘ resembles the sound of metal instruments clashing.)
Following are some famous examples:
“Yet the ear it fully knows,
By the twanging
And the clanging”
—Edgar Allan Poe, The Bells
“And murmuring of innumerable bees…”
—Alfred Lord Tennyson, Come Down, O Maid
“But just the clatter of their bones, / Rolling, rattling carefree circus”
—Ogden Nash, Fossils