Synonyms/Hypernyms (Ordered by Estimated Frequency) of noun onset

2 senses of onset

Sense 1
onset, oncoming -- (the beginning or early stages; "the onset of pneumonia")
       => start -- (the beginning of anything; "it was off to a good start")

Sense 2
attack, onslaught, onset, onrush -- ((military) an offensive against an enemy (using weapons); "the attack began at dawn")
       => operation, military operation -- (activity by a military or naval force (as a maneuver or campaign); "it was a joint operation of the navy and air force")

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