20 Common Onomatopoeic Words 🔈

Here are twenty very common onomatopoeic words, together with their meanings and example sentences for verb and noun, along with an audio recording in each case.


(of a horn or electronic device) make a short, high-pitched sound
verb: The drivers kept beeping their horns until the van moved out of the way.
noun: I waited for the recording to end, then left a message after the beep.


(of fire) make short, sharp, repetitive noises in quick succession
verb: The fire crackled loudly when I threw another log on it.
noun: The only sound I could hear was the comforting crackle of the fire.


(of a bird or other winged creature) make a noise moving wings quickly
verb: The budgie was fluttering around the kitchen.
noun: I heard a flutter and realised a canary had flown through the window.


(of a person) laugh in a light, silly way with short repeated gasps
verb: The boys couldn’t stop giggling when the teacher found the frog on her desk.
noun: There were giggles from the audience when the actor forgot his lines.


(of a person) make a noise swallowing food or drink quickly in large mouthfuls
verb: He gulped down his entire meal before I’d even started mine.
noun: George finished his tea in one gulp, then got up to leave.

hiccup, hiccups

(of a human or animal) make a short, unintentional sound from the throat
verb: The teacher sent me out of the room because I couldn’t stop hiccupping.
noun: The best way to cure hiccups is to drink water upside down.


(of a snake) make a sound like a long ‘s’ to express anger
verb: When the snake started hissing, I knew I was in danger.
noun: The cobra let out a hiss before striking the terrified child.


(of a human or machine) make a steady, continuous sound
verb: The happy child hummed as she put away her toys.
noun: The gentle hum of the fridge told me the power was back on.


(of metal objects) make a light ringing sound when shaken together
verb: The coins jingled in my pocket as I ran down the road.
noun: The jingle of keys in his hands told me Gary was approaching.


(of a person) make a long, low sound expressing suffering or pleasure
verb: Tom was moaning in pain after his sister kicked him in the stomach.
noun: Ann let out a moan of despair when she realised what she’d done.


(of a balloon, popcorn, cork, bubble gum, etc.) make a quick, expolosive sound
verb: He popped the cork on the champagne and the celebrations began.
noun: We heard a loud pop and realised his balloon had burst.


(of a cat) make a slow, continuous sound when content or showing affection
verb: The cat jumped onto my knee and started purring loudly.
noun: The cat’s purr got louder the harder I stroked its neck.


(of a duck) make a harsh throaty sound
verb: The ducks quacked loudly as they swam towards the bread.
noun: The duck let out a quack, then disappeared under the water.


(of objects, a rattlesnake) make a rapid series of short sharp noises
verb: As the wind got stronger, the windows started to rattle.
noun: I heard the rattle of the snake’s tail, and knew I was in trouble.


(of a lion or large cat) make a deep prolonged sound to express anger or distress
verb: I nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard the tiger roar.
noun: The lion let out a roar and we knew not to come any closer.


(of thunder or a stomach) make a continuous deep resonant sound
verb: As lunchtime drew nearer, my stomach started to rumble.
noun: The distant rumble of thunder told me the storm was approaching.


(of a person, or brakes) make a shrill high-pitched sound
verb: When his sister pulled his hair, the young boy started to screech.
noun: I heard the screech of brakes and ran to see what had happened.


(of food) Make a hissing or popping sound when frying
verb: The sausages started to sizzle as soon as I dropped them into the pan.
noun: The sizzle of the bacon in the pan was making my mouth water.


(of a person or animal) make a snorting or grunting sound while asleep
verb: John was snoring so loudly that I had to find somewhere else to sleep.
noun: I heard a snore from the cot and realised the baby had finally fallen asleep.


(of a child or dog) make weak intermittent crying sounds to show pain or distress
verb: The puppy started to whimper as soon as I shut the door.
noun: Sam let out a whimper of pain as I put the antiseptic on his cut.