I'm looking for an English word I read a while ago, describing a statement having the same meaning as the way it is presented in.

Example: The statement is that existence is uncertainty and the way it is presented in makes you feel uncertain/ shows how uncertain existence is.


Self-referential is the obvious choice. For single words, you can also use autological.

  • While pretty close to what I'm looking for, it is not quite a hit. You couldn't really call the example above self-referential. Self-referential requires a concept to be part of the set it describes, while I'm looking for the situation that both the form and the content make the same statement about something possibly outside of themselves. – Ruben Bohnet Jul 24 '18 at 12:23
  • 1
    Performative expressions, perhaps? – L. Scott Johnson Jul 24 '18 at 12:33
  • Or you could bring the word inductive to bear: The inductive phrase induces the thing it describes. – L. Scott Johnson Jul 24 '18 at 12:37

Onomatopeia comes to mind, especially definition 3 here:

  • the use of imitative and naturally suggestive words for rhetorical, dramatic, or poetic effect.

Adjective forms

  • onomatopoeic
  • onomatopoetic

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