- The onset is the start or beginning of something, especially of something unpleasant.
Sniffles and a sore throat might be described as examples of the onset of a cold.
onset definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- an attack; assault
- a beginning; start
onset definition by American Heritage Dictionary
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
- An onslaught; an assault.
- A beginning; a start: the onset of a cold.
- Linguistics The part of a syllable that precedes the nucleus. In the word nucleus (no͞oˈklē-əs), the onset of the first syllable is (n), the onset of the second syllable is (kl), and the last syllable has no onset.
onset - Medical Definition
A beginning; a start, as of a cold.