An onomatopoeia is a word that mimics the sound it names. For example, “The acorn plopped into the puddle.” Typically, we associate plopping with raindrops. In this instance, we’re using an onomatopoeia to show the acorn is imitating that sound.
Since nature is full of color, sound, and wonder, it’s a common go-to when writers and poets want to paint imagery into their writing. Without further ado, let’s enjoy some examples of onomatopoeia in nature that you can use to make your writing more expressive and imaginative.
The rocks kerplunk as they fall into the lake.
Hear the pitter patter of raindrops on the leaves.
The grouse flutter as they take flight.
Horses flick their tails to keep away flies.
Lighting crackles and thunder rumbles.
The boulder hit the ground with a flump.
Leaves rustle in the wind.
Snakes slither among the leaves.
The hail snaps small branches off the trees.
|Arf - dogs||Honk honk - geese|
|Awooooo - dogs and wolves||Meow - cats|
|Baa - sheep||Moo - cows|
|Bow-wow - dogs||Neigh - horses|
|Buzz - bees||Oink oink - pigs|
|Cackle - geese||Peep peep - chickens|
|Caw caw - crows||Purr - cats|
|Cheep cheep - birds||Quack - ducks|
|Chirp chirp - birds||Ribbit - frogs|
|Click - dolphins||Roar - lions|
|Clip clop - horses||Ruff - dogs|
|Cluck cluck - chickens||Squak - parrots|
|Cock-a-doodle-doo - roosters||Tweet tweet - birds|
|Coo - pigeons||Warble - wrens|
|Croak - frogs||Whinny - zebras|
|Cuckoo - cuckoos||Whisper - humans|
|Gobble gobble - turkeys||Whoop - zebras|
|Grrr - tigers||Woof - dogs|
|Hee haw - donkeys||Yowl - cats|
|Hiss - snakes|
The loudness in the road.
And laughs away from me.
It laughs a lovely whiteness,
And whitely whirs away
- “Cynthia in the Snow” by Gwendolyn Brooks
Piddle-paddle, piddle-paddle, splash, splash, splash
Into the pool with a great big dash!
- “Piddle-Paddle” by Jaymie Gerard
water plops into pond
warbling magpies in tree
trilling, melodic thrill
- “Running Water” by Lee Emmett
A cacophonous cannonade of thunder,
doesn’t it make you wonder?
blasting buss of blunder,
pitter-patter rain, pouring under,
streets awash like tumult tundra,
lucid lightning flash,
clip-clop heels as people dash
- “Storm” by William Thomas Dodd
The clean water in a brook flows "sara sara".
The scarce water in a brook flows "choro choro".
It is raining "shito shito" softly.
It is beginning raining "potsun potsun" softly.
It is raining "zaa zaa" strongly or "jaa jaa".
- Japanese poem, Author unknown
What a wonder. We can create actual sounds with our words. This allows them to pop off the page and into our ears. With onomatopoeias, we don’t just envision rain falling. We hear it plopping heavily on the creaking windowsill.