from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A word that utilizes sound symbolism to express aspects of events that can be experienced by the senses, like smell, color, shape, sound, action, or movement.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In phonetics, the auditory symbol of a word or phrase that is perceived as a whole and thus constitutes a single idea. Ideophones are distinguished as sensory or motor, according as the sound or group of sounds corresponding to the word or phrase is heard or spoken. See ideogram, 2. First used by A. J. Ellis.
James F. Fordyce (The Ideophone as a Phonosemantic Class: The Case of Yoruba, in Current approaches to African linguistics, Ivan R. Dihoff (ed.), page 263) credits C. M. Doke with introducing the term in 1935. (Wiktionary)