In our English lesson, we talked about words that are derived from sounds.

Our teacher said they are "anamatapic", but it seems I can't get the spelling right. Even google does not provide a good suggestion for a better spelling.

So now I am looking for the word that sounds like "anamatapic" and describes the professional term for words that sound like the sound. Everything's clear?

I have tried

Close votes: thanks for the meta reference to good resources.

The following online resources don't help:

These will guide to correct results:

So, yeah, maybe I could have found it there.

And if you try Google now, you'll get a result from a strange website, which is not a dictionary, but some kind of Q&A style forum. Maybe we can put that one in the list of helpful resources, too :-D

Also cool: if I would have type the title of this EL&U question into Google instead of the intended word, the first hit is the correct Wikipedia article. I'll try to derive a pattern from this.

  • 3
    I guess you mean: onomatopoeic!
    – user66974
    Jun 27, 2014 at 9:49
  • 8
    Come on now, how can this possibly be general reference if he doesn't know what word to look up? Someone please give me the name of a commonly available reference that can be used to trivially answer this question.
    – phenry
    Jun 27, 2014 at 19:58
  • 1
    The mods are in discussion about this question. We think that this is a useful question that could help other people find resources for words that they have heard, but are unsure of how to spell. With that regard, it might be a suitable candidate for the English Language Learners site, where a larger audience is more likely to be looking for this type of resource.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Jun 27, 2014 at 21:53
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    I feel like adding that the elephant in the room is that it's the teacher's whole job to answer your questions, so you should just go ahead and ask him right then and there. Not sure why you chose to try and look it up in a dictionary instead, which of course is all but impossible. (That's what reverse dictionaries are there for.)
    – RegDwigнt
    Jun 27, 2014 at 23:39
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    I agree with @phenry: if this is "general reference", then there's no reason for the Internet to exist, never mind this site. I mean, really: how and where do you look up a word if you don't know anything besides its meaning?
    – JPmiaou
    Jun 28, 2014 at 7:12

1 Answer 1


Onomatopoeia: (noun), onomatopoeic ( adj) :

The formation or use of words such as buzz or murmur that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to.

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