145+ Onomatopoeia Examples To Help You Get Through This Language Arts Unit

Originally Published: 
onomatopoeia examples
Element5 Digital/Unsplash

You may not realize it, but you use literary devices and figures of speech every day and in nearly every conversation. You probably learned about them in middle school or high school. It’s okay if you don’t remember them, though: As mamas, we have a lot of other, more important crap for our brains to hold onto, right? If you’re telling your friend to meet you down in “Bailey’s boiling-hot basement,” for instance, you’ve used an alliteration. And if you told your husband it took you “forever” to get to work today, then you’d be using hyperbole (one of the most widely used figures of speech). Another popular figure of speech? Onomatopoeia, or a word that is spelled exactly like the sound it makes. Some onomatopoeia examples include “crack” and “boom.” Still not exactly sure what it is or how to pronounce onomatopoeia? We’ve got your back.

Believe it or not, onomatopoeia is super easy to understand and use. Way easier than, say, trying to do an anagram or creating a palindrome. Here’s our primer on onomatopoeias.

How do you say onomatopoeia?

We get it. The word “onomatopoeia” looks pretty intimidating. It’s a large word with a ton of vowels at the end. We still pronounce that “t” as an “n” sometimes because that’s how we learned it as a kid. But if you didn’t learn how to pronounce it when you were young, fear not. First, try saying it slowly. Like this, “ah-nuh-mah-tuh-pee-uh.” Still not sure you’ve got it right? You probably already know that YouTube is an excellent resource for learning how to do practically anything, and that includes pronouncing hard words. We found this video that might help you figure it out.

What is onomatopoeia?

An onomatopoeia is, as previously mentioned, a literary device or figure of speech. It’s a word used to illustrate the sound of something. Wikipedia describes it best by defining an onomatopoeia as “the process of creating a word that phonetically imitates, resembles, or suggests the sound that it describes.”

What are the four types of onomatopoeia?

Oh, you know, it obviously can’t be too easy. While the gist of onomatopoeia is fairly simple and easy to understand, someone somewhere decided to make it a little more nuanced. There are actually four types of onomatopoeia.

1. Real Words That Mimic Real Sounds

One of the most-used types of onomatopoeia you’ll encounter are real, actual words you can find in a dictionary that sound like the noises they make. For instance, a cow’s moo sounds like he’s saying, “Moo.” The sound a cat makes (sometimes) sounds exactly like the word “meow.” Outside of animals, you might think of words like the, “tick-tock” of a clock or the “buzz” of an alarm.

2. Made-up Words That Make Real Sounds

You’ve probably encountered this type of onomatopoeia, too. Describing the sounds a Stormtrooper’s gun makes as “pew pew pew” is a solid example of this type of onomatopoeia. Another great example in multiple songs and movies is the “ratatata” sound to mimic automatic rifle fire.

3. Real Words Used As Sounds

This one is more tricky. A fantastic literary example is Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Bells.” The word “bell” doesn’t sounds like the ringing or “dong” sound of a bell. However, he repeats the word “bell” over and over again in a way that imitates and calls to mind the sounds of a clanging bell.

4. Letters That Mimic A Familiar Sound

The most modern example of this might be, “Okayrrr” which is used to imitate the sound of someone rolling their tongue when they say, “Okay.” Think Cardi B. You might also use this when referring to Mister Rogers’ removing his sweater with a “Zzzz!” — like the sound of his zipper going down. Or “Pspsps” when you’re calling a cat.

What are some more onomatopoeia examples?

Need a list of onomatopoeias? Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy! These are some of the most common examples we can found.

Sound Words

  1. Bam
  2. Bang
  3. Beep
  4. Belch
  5. Bonk
  6. Boom
  7. Boop
  8. Burp
  9. Buzz
  10. Ca-ching
  11. Clack
  12. Clang
  13. Clank
  14. Clap
  15. Clash
  16. Clatter
  17. Click
  18. Clink
  19. Clip-clop
  20. Cough
  21. Crack
  22. Crackle
  23. Crash
  24. Creak
  25. Crinkle
  26. Crunch
  27. Ding
  28. Dong
  29. Drip-drop
  30. Fizzle
  31. Flap
  32. Flop
  33. Flush
  34. Gargle
  35. Glop
  36. Glug
  37. Groan
  38. Grumble
  39. Gulp
  40. Hack
  41. Hiccup
  42. Honk
  43. Hum
  44. Jingle
  45. Knock
  46. Moan
  47. Murmur
  48. Patter
  49. Plop
  50. Pop
  51. Pow
  52. Puff
  53. Rasp
  54. Rattle
  55. Rev
  56. Ring
  57. Rip
  58. Rumble
  59. Rustle
  60. Scream
  61. Shout
  62. Sizzle
  63. Slap
  64. Slurp
  65. Smack
  66. Smash
  67. Snap
  68. Snicker
  69. Sniff
  70. Snort
  71. Splatter
  72. Splash
  73. Spit
  74. Spray
  75. Squish
  76. Swish
  77. Tap
  78. Tick
  79. Thud
  80. Thump
  81. Tock
  82. Toot
  83. Trickle
  84. Vroom
  85. Wail
  86. Whiz
  87. Yap
  88. Yip
  89. Zap
  90. Zip
  91. Zoom

Animal Noises

  1. Baa
  2. Bark
  3. Bleat
  4. Bow-wow
  5. Buzz
  6. Chirp
  7. Cluck
  8. Cock-a-doodle-doo
  9. Coo
  10. Croak
  11. Hiss
  12. Hoot
  13. Howl
  14. Growl
  15. Grunt
  16. Moo
  17. Meow
  18. Oink
  19. Peep
  20. Purr
  21. Quack
  22. Rattle
  23. Ribbit
  24. Roar
  25. Screech
  26. Shriek
  27. Squawk
  28. Squeak
  29. Squeal
  30. Tweet
  31. Woof
  32. Yap

Examples of Onomatopoeia in a Sentence

  1. The ice clacked as it hit the bottom of the glass cup.
  2. I love the gentle rip of a hot bagel being pulled apart.
  3. The utensils pinged and clanged as I closed the kitchen drawer.
  4. The champagne cork popped as I removed it from the bottle.
  5. The egg made a sharp crack against the edge of the bowl.
  6. The butter sizzled as it melted in the hot pan.
  7. As she worked on her essay due at midnight, her fingers clacked on the keys.
  8. As the cows ate their food, they quietly mooed.
  9. As my grandpa patted his stomach, he let out a small belch.
  10. The room was so cold my teeth chattered.
  11. When the car cut me off, I beeped my horn.
  12. After my father ate his burrito, his stomach gurgled.
  13. The mouse squeaks as the eagle chases it.
  14. My father grunted as he pulled the couch up the stairs.
  15. When we camped out in the woods, we heard wolves howling.
  16. Since the twins learned to talk, they’ve been yapping ever since.
  17. The rain trickled down my window.
  18. When she poured the paint out of the can, it glopped into the tray.
  19. My grandfather groaned as he got up from bed.
  20. The baby hiccuped after she had her bottle.
  21. I slurped the smoother because it was my favorite.
  22. I sniffed as I entered the garden because of my allergies.
  23. I whispered in the dark to my sister that I needed to go to the bathroom.
  24. The floorboards creaked as I walked to my parent’s room.

This article was originally published on