Japanese Onomatopoeia Lists

To be proficient in Japanese, you need to have a good knowledge of onomatopoeia. It’s an incredibly important part of the language, and having these words in your vocabulary will help you to speak Japanese more naturally.

The Japanese onomatopoeia lists below are abridged samples from Maki Hayasaka’s Japanese Onomatopoeia dictionary. For over a thousand more sounds and their English meanings, pick up a copy of the book and make it part of your daily studies.

Page 1: A–F
Page 2: G–O
Page 3: P–Z


・ 噁噁 ・ あくあく
1) Chirping or tweeting (of a bird).

a–n ・ あーん
1) Saying “aah” (i.e., opening one’s mouth wide).
2) Loud crying or bawling.


・ ばちゃん
1) The sound of a splash.

bachin ・ ばちん
1) The sound made by a sharp blow with a flat object (e.g., smack, slap, thwack).
2) A strike against something solid or dense.
3) The sound of thunder or the crack of lightning.

bakibaki ・ バキバキ
1) The cracking or splintering of branches (or wood), or the cracking of one’s knuckles (also bokiboki).

bakitto ・ ばきっと
1) The sound of something snapping (such as a branch).

bakubaku ・ バクバク
1) Thumping, pounding, racing (especially one’s heartbeat).

banban ・ ばんばん
1) Bang-bang (e.g., the repeated sound of hammering or gunfire).
2) With great vigor or gusto, to rush through an activity.

barabara ・ バラバラ
1) Scattered, in pieces, loose, in drops, strewn about.

baribari ・ ばりばり
1) Tearing, shredding, ripping.
2) Crunching, chomping, munching.
3) Stiff, crisp, brittle.
4) Vigorously, energetically, enthusiastically.
5) Loud noises in quick succession (e.g., gunfire, hammering, revving).
6) The crackle of electricity.

basabasa ・ ばさばさ
1) Rustling, swishing, flapping, fluttering.
2) Loose, disheveled, tousled, unkempt.
3) A firm whack, to do something decisively.

basarito ・ ばさりと
1) With a thud or thump.

bashabasha ・ バシャバシャ
1) Splash-splash, the sound of repeated splashing.
2) Click-click, the sound of camera taking a photo.

batabata ・ バタバタ
1) Flapping, rattling, clattering.
2) Commotion, tumult, hubbub.

batan ・ バタン
1) Bang, slam, crash, clunk.

batankyu– ・ バタンキュー
1) Falling asleep instantly.

batatto ・ ばたっと
1) Thud, plop, thud, snap, crash.
2) Suddenly, abruptly, out of the blue.

batto ・ ばっと
1) Suddenly, swiftly, in a flash, nimbly.

bechabecha ・ べちゃべちゃ
1) Chattering, jabbering, prattling.
2) Gooey, messy (typically because of a liquid).

beriberi ・ ベリベリ
1) The sound of peeling off something sticky (e.g., adhesive tape or a sticker).

berori ・ ベロリ
1) Slurping or lapping (a liquid).

betabeta ・ ベタベタ
1) Sticky, tacky, gummy.
2) Thickly, heavily, copiously.
3) Clingy, following someone around, being all over (someone).
4) Clichéd, corny, hackneyed.

bettari ・ べったり
1) Sticky, clingy, tacky.
2) Thickly, closely, hard.

bichabicha ・ びちゃびちゃ
1) Splashing, spattering, dabbling.

bii ・ ビー
1) Beep.

bikubiku ・ ビクビク
1) Afraid, fearful, nervous, anxious, timid.
2) Trembling, quivering, shivering.

bikutto ・ ビクッと
1) With a start, with a flinch, with a jump.

bishobisho ・ びしょびしょ
1) Soaked, drenched, wet, sopping.

bokiboki ・ ボキボキ
1) The cracking or splintering of branches (or wood), or the cracking of one’s knuckles (also bakibaki).

boroboro ・ ぼろぼろ
1) Worn-out, ragged, frayed, tattered, battered.
2) Dry and crumbly.
3) Scattering, sprinkling, falling in drops or clumps.

botsubotsu ・ ぼつぼつ
1) Gradually, bit by bit, in a care-free fashion.
2) Soon, before long.
3) Here and there, scattered about.
4) Spots, dots, pimples.

byu–n ・ ビューン
1) Swish, whoosh, whizz.


・ ちゃかちゃか
1) Restless, agitated, fidgety, fretful.

charachara ・ チャラチャラ
1) Jingling, jangling, clinking.
2) Showing off, messing around, chattering.
3) Flirty, flashy, gaudy, superficial.

charin ・ ちゃりん
1) With a clink, with a chink.

che ・ チェ
1) Tsk, tut, dang.
2) Chirp, cheep.

chikachika ・ チカチカ
1) Flickering, twinkling, glittering, flashing.
2) Glaringly bright.
3) A prickling sensation or pain.

chikutto ・ ちくっと
1) A prickling, stinging, or tingling sensation.

chin ・ チン
1) Ding, ring, tinkle.
2) Blowing one’s nose, sneeze, snort, honk.
3) Microwaving something.

chirachira ・ ちらちら
1) Fluttering, falling lightly (of small, light objects like petals).
2) Glittering, twinkling, gleaming, sparkling, dazzling.
3) Appearing and vanishing, catching glimpses of something.
4) Occasionally, from time to time, intermittently.

chokichoki ・ チョキチョキ
1) A cutting or snipping sound.

chokkiri ・ ちょっきり
1) Exactly, just, precise.
2) Snip (e.g., of scissors).

chokochoko ・ ちょこちょこ
1) Small, quick steps, toddling, tottering.
2) Restlessly, without stopping.
3) Quickly and easily.
4) Often, frequently, regularly.

chorori ・ ちょろり
1) Trickling (of a liquid).
2) Rashly, impulsively, recklessly, carelessly.
3) A swift movement.


・ だぶだぶ
1) Loose-fitting, baggy.
2) Flabby, sagging, floppy.
3) Sloshing, slopping, overflowing.
4) Plenty, amply (when pouring a liquid).

dakudaku ・ だくだく
1) Flowing freely, gushing profusely.
2) Thump-thump, bang-bang, pitter-patter.
3) The sound of hoofbeats.

darari ・ だらり
1) Languidly, indolently, lazily.

dobadoba ・ どばどば
1) Flowing out profusely, gushing freely.

dobodobo ・ ドボドボ
1) Glug-glug (of a liquid being poured or draining away).

dokan ・ ドカン
1) With a loud bang.

dokidoki ・ ドキドキ
1) Thump-thump, pitter-patter.
2) A pounding or throbbing heartbeat.

don ・ どん
1) Bang, boom, thud, thump.
2) Precisely, exactly.

dorodoro ・ ドロドロ
1) Rumbling, booming, reverberations.

dorodoro ・ 泥々 ・ どろどろ
1) Viscous, syrupy, viscid, slushy, sticky.
2) Muddy, mucky, grubby.
3) To be in a grimy or sordid state.

dosatto ・ どさっと
1) With a heavy thud or thump.

dossari ・ どっさり
1) Plenty, heaps of something.
2) With a heavy thud.

dotabata ・ どたばた
1) Heavy footsteps.
2) To do something noisily.

doyadoya ・ どやどや
1) A multitude of footsteps.


・ えへへ
1) Giggle, heh-heh, tee-hee.


・ ふかふか
1) Soft and fluffy.
2) Absentmindedly, distractedly, dreamily.

furafura ・ ふらふら
1) Unsteadily, shakily, dizzily, giddily.
2) Waveringly, unsteadily, indecisively, hesitantly.
3) Aimlessly, reflexively, impulsively, without thinking.

futto ・ ふっと
1) With a whiff, with a puff.
2) Suddenly, without warning, unexpectedly.

fuufuu ・ ふうふう
1) Heavy breathing or panting.
2) Blowing on something (especially using one’s mouth).

fuwafuwa ・ フワフワ
1) Buoyantly, lightly adrift in the air.
2) Soft, fluffy, downy.
3) Flightily, fickly, flippantly.

fuxtsu ・ フッ
1) “Hah” (especially used to express disdain).
2) The poof of something disappearing.
3) Huff, puff.

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6 thoughts on “Japanese Onomatopoeia Lists

  1. James says:

    Thanks – I’ve been looking for something like this. Trying to build up my Japanese vocabulary and didn’t realize how many onomatopoeia I still don’t know.

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