Why was clemency trending last week?


[on-set, awn-] /ˈɒnˌsɛt, ˈɔn-/
a beginning or start:
the onset of winter.
an assault or attack:
an onset of the enemy.
Phonetics. the segment of a syllable preceding the nucleus, as the gr in great.
Compare coda (def 5), core1 (def 14).
Origin of onset
1525-35; on + set, after the verb phrase set on Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for onset
  • Please publish more stories on early onset to make people aware of the existence of this form of the disease.
  • The whole situation was badly dealt with from the onset.
  • With the onset of her first period, her reign will end and she will return to mortal status.
  • The bursting blooms of many types of flowers herald the onset of spring.
  • They need ample moisture from onset of growth through bloom period but little moisture during summer.
  • Another promising area for research is that delay between the loss of dopamine-producing cells and the onset of symptoms.
  • Symptoms can develop gradually or have a sudden onset.
  • Top of them is the onset of global population ageing.
  • The latest, more speculative date did mark the onset of a transition to much colder, arid conditions.
  • Now a new study has confirmed a strong correlation between certain types of migraines and the onset of menstruation.
British Dictionary definitions for onset


an attack; assault
a start; beginning
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for onset

1530s, "attack, assault," from on + set (n.); cf. to set (something) on (someone). Weaker sense of "beginning, start" first recorded 1560s. Figurative use in reference to a calamity, disease, etc. is from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
onset in Medicine

onset on·set (ŏn'sět')
A beginning; a start, as of a cold.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for onset

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for onset

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with onset

Nearby words for onset