Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
?Note: This page may contain content that is offensive or inappropriate for some readers.


1. Masturbation.
2. Coitus interruptus.

[After Onan, son of Judah (Genesis 38:9).]

o′nan·ist n.
o′nan·is′tic adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.onanist - a person who practices masturbation
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul - a human being; "there was too much for one person to do"
frotteur - someone who masturbates by rubbing against another person (as in a crowd)
jerk-off, tosser, wanker - terms of abuse for a masturbator
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
We had the courtroom scene in Holmes & Watson where a defendant was described as "an onanist of the most enthusiastic kind".
a sesquipedalian onanist. But there is much more going on, too.
Roth's notorious onanist entertains towards his sister, Hannah,
Wurm once described his work as engaging with "the difficulty of mastering life," and several of the characters who populated the show are defined by the form of physical restraint, or lack, under which they labor--from the armless would-be onanist in Telekinetischer Masturbator, 2009, to the related pair of vaguely human figures (Jakob/Big Psycho VII and Big Gulp Lying, both 2010) whose incomplete "bodies" are bound in sweaterlike garments with disconcertingly vaginal openings--extending and elaborating the distortions of the artist's Pilobolus-like 1992 performance documentation 59 Positions.
Her anxiety about female intimacy anticipates the disappearance of "the onanist" in favor of "the homosexual" roughly half a century later.
Since the secret vice presented such an array of symptoms, the core of which were strong tendencies towards the solitary and secret, it is hardly surprising to find Robert Mighall, in his book on Victorian Gothic fiction, reading the protagonist of Oscar Wilde's novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), as a possible onanist. Rather unexpectedly, Mason disagrees and then goes on to argue persuasively that opium addiction is a more likely cause of Gray's antisocial behavior.
What is significant is that all of the individual figures from the preceding episodic sections--the swimmer, the squaw, the onanist, and numerous others suffering or oppressed--now are brought together in a grand consort of humanity.
The kind of artist who will get lost in the beast's entrails is the punning onanist who dwells, like the narcissist, in the empty well ('O') of the self and who lacks any need for an external object.
Could he be an onanist, an inveterate masturbator whom social critics of the time, such as Sylvester Graham and John Todd, conjured up as the destroyer of young manhood and threat to American families?
As I have elsewhere argued, this inviolate male in Hawthorne (and other authors' works) overlaps with the construction of the onanist in the theories of myriad antebellum sexual and health reformers such as Sylvester Graham, John Todd, and Mary Gove Nichols.
Wood is delicious as the seemingly innocent spite maiden with the steel capped tongue and devious agenda while, in perhaps the most monstrously grotesque performance of his career, James Woods goes over the top, down the other side and back up again as her crass racist, sexist, onanist business tycoon father who's such a grubby sleazeball you feel the need to rush out and wash.