Meaning of sound symbolism

sound' sym"bolism

Pronunciation: [key]
— Ling. Ling.
  1. a nonarbitrary connection between phonetic features of linguistic items and their meanings, as in the frequent occurrence of close vowels in words denoting smallness, as petite and teeny-weeny.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.