onset

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From on- +‎ set. Compare Old English onsettan (to impose; oppress, bear down).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (?)
  • (?) IPA(key): /ˈɔnˌsɛt/

Noun[edit]

onset (plural onsets)

  1. A rushing or setting upon; an attack; an assault; a storming; especially, the assault of an army.
  2. (medicine) The initial phase of a disease or condition, in which symptoms first become apparent.
  3. (phonology) The initial portion of a syllable, preceding the syllable nucleus.
  4. (acoustics) The beginning of a musical note or other sound, in which the amplitude rises from zero to an initial peak.
  5. (obsolete) A setting about; a beginning.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Francis Bacon,
      There is surely no greater wisdom than well to time the beginnings and onsets of things.
  6. (obsolete) Anything set on, or added, as an ornament or as a useful appendage.
    • 2013 June 29, “High and wet”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 28: 
      Floods in northern India, mostly in the small state of Uttarakhand, have wrought disaster on an enormous scale. The early, intense onset of the monsoon on June 14th swelled rivers, washing away roads, bridges, hotels and even whole villages. Rock-filled torrents smashed vehicles and homes, burying victims under rubble and sludge.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Johnson to this entry?)

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

onset (third-person singular simple present onsets, present participle onsetting, simple past and past participle onset)

  1. (obsolete) To assault; to set upon.
  2. (obsolete) To set about; to begin.

Anagrams[edit]