- an attack; assault
- a beginning; start; appearance: the onset of symptoms
Sniffles and a sore throat might be described as examples of the onset of a cold.
- The beginning or start of something: the onset of a cold.
- Linguistics The part of a syllable that precedes the nucleus. In the word nucleus (n&oomac;′klē-əs), the onset of the first syllable is (n), the onset of the second syllable is (kl), and the last syllable has no onset.
- Archaic An attack by military forces; an assault.
- A rushing or setting upon; an attack; an assault; a storming; especially, the assault of an army.
- (medicine) The initial phase of a disease or condition, in which symptoms first become apparent.
- (phonology) The initial portion of a syllable, preceding the syllable nucleus.
- (acoustics) The beginning of a musical note or other sound, in which the amplitude rises from zero to an initial peak.
(third-person singular simple present onsets, present participle onsetting, simple past and past participle onset)
- (obsolete) To assault; to set upon.
- (obsolete) To set about; to begin.
From on- +"Ž set. Compare Old English onsettan (“to impose; oppress, bear down").
- It might onset a war.
- On Pasubio, repulsed the onset with very heavy losses.
- "Onset a war?" she repeated.
- The Greek entrenchments were stormed at the point of the bayonet by Ibrahim's fellahin at the first onset; the defenders broke and fled, leaving 600 dead on the field.
- The attack opened (battle of Servigny or Noisseville); but his opportunity had been allowed to slip, and though his first onset overwhelmed the German outposts, their main line held good, and masses of guns unlimbering over a front of some 4 m.