sound

A sound is a noise, something you can hear if you're in the right spot and it's loud enough. A doorbell, a fire alarm, a cat's meow, or your brother's snoring — they’re all sounds.

Long Island Sound is another kind of sound — it’s a branch of the Atlantic Ocean that runs between Connecticut and Long Island, New York. When you don’t know a word, you might sound out the syllables — say them aloud — to figure out the pronunciation. Sound can also mean "solid or good." Sound advice is good advice. Sound investments are secure. When you have a sound sleep, it's restful and uninterrupted — at least until your alarm sounds.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: sound

1
nv
mechanical vibrations transmitted by an elastic medium
make a certain noise or sound
2
v
appear in a certain way
3
nv
a narrow channel of the sea joining two larger bodies of water
measure the depth of (a body of water) with a sounding line
4
adj
in good condition; free from defect or damage or decay
5
adj
thorough
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: sound
1

n mechanical vibrations transmitted by an elastic medium

“falling trees make a sound in the forest even when no one is there to hear them”
Types:
ultrasound
very high frequency sound; used in ultrasonography
Type of:
mechanical phenomenon
a physical phenomenon associated with the equilibrium or motion of objects

n the subjective sensation of hearing something

“he strained to hear the faint sounds
Synonyms:
auditory sensation
Types:
show 8 types...
hide 8 types...
euphony, music
any agreeable (pleasing and harmonious) sounds
music
(music) the sounds produced by singers or musical instruments (or reproductions of such sounds)
pure tone, tone
a steady sound without overtones
dissonance, noise, racket
the auditory experience of sound that lacks musical quality; sound that is a disagreeable auditory experience
dub
the new sounds added by dubbing
piano music
the sound of music produced by a piano
music of the spheres
an inaudible music that Pythagoras thought was produced by the celestial
harmonic
a tone that is a component of a complex sound
Type of:
aesthesis, esthesis, sensation, sense datum, sense experience, sense impression
an unelaborated elementary awareness of stimulation

n the particular auditory effect produced by a given cause

“the sound of rain on the roof”
“the beautiful sound of music”
Antonyms:
quiet, silence
the absence of sound
Types:
show 6 types...
hide 6 types...
noisiness, racketiness
the auditory effect characterized by loud and constant noise
ring
a characteristic sound
unison
(music) two or more sounds or tones at the same pitch or in octaves
voice
the distinctive quality or pitch or condition of a person's speech
androglossia
a woman's voice with male qualities
boisterousness
the property of being noisy and lively and unrestrained
Type of:
sound property
an attribute of sound

n the sudden occurrence of an audible event

“the sound awakened them”
Types:
show 141 types...
hide 141 types...
bong
a dull resonant sound as of a bell
beat
the sound of stroke or blow
beep, bleep
a short high tone produced as a signal or warning
bell, toll
the sound of a bell being struck
bombilation, bombination, buzz
sound of rapid vibration
chink, click, clink
a short light metallic sound
chirp
a sharp sound made by small birds or insects
chirrup, twitter
a series of chirps
chorus
any utterance produced simultaneously by a group
click-clack
a succession of clicks
clip-clop, clippety-clop, clop, clopping, clumping, clunking
the sound of a horse's hoofs hitting on a hard surface
cry
the characteristic utterance of an animal
ding
a ringing sound
drip, dripping
the sound of a liquid falling drop by drop
drum
the sound of a drum
footfall, footstep, step
the sound of a step of someone walking
gargle
the sound produced while gargling
gurgle
the bubbling sound of water flowing from a bottle with a narrow neck
jangle, jingle
a metallic sound
knock, knocking
the sound of knocking (as on a door or in an engine or bearing)
murmur, murmuration, murmuring, mussitation, mutter, muttering
a low continuous indistinct sound; often accompanied by movement of the lips without the production of articulate speech
noise
sound of any kind (especially unintelligible or dissonant sound)
drum roll, paradiddle, roll
the sound of a drum (especially a snare drum) beaten rapidly and continuously
pat, rap, tap
the sound made by a gentle blow
patter
a quick succession of light rapid sounds
peal, pealing, roll, rolling
a deep prolonged sound (as of thunder or large bells)
ping
a sharp high-pitched resonant sound (as of a sonar echo or a bullet striking metal)
plunk
a hollow twanging sound
pop, popping
a sharp explosive sound as from a gunshot or drawing a cork
purr
a low vibrating sound typical of a contented cat
quack
the harsh sound of a duck
quaver
a tremulous sound
ring, ringing, tintinnabulation
the sound of a bell ringing
drumbeat, rataplan, rub-a-dub
the sound made by beating a drum
sigh
a sound like a person sighing
skirl
the sound of (the chanter of) a bagpipe
song
a distinctive or characteristic sound
strum
sound of strumming
susurration, susurrus
the indistinct sound of people whispering
swish
a brushing or rustling sound
tapping
the sound of light blow or knock
throbbing
a sound with a strong rhythmic beat
clump, clunk, thud, thump, thumping
a heavy dull sound (as made by impact of heavy objects)
thrum
a thrumming sound
thunk
a dull hollow sound
tick, ticking
a metallic tapping sound
ting, tinkle
a light clear metallic sound as of a small bell
toot
a blast of a horn
tootle
the sound of casual playing on a musical instrument
trample, trampling
the sound of heavy treading or stomping
twang
a sharp vibrating sound (as of a plucked string)
vibrato
(music) a pulsating effect in an instrumental or vocal tone produced by slight and rapid variations in pitch
voice
a sound suggestive of a vocal utterance
vroom
the roaring sound made by a motor that is running at high speed
whack
the sound made by a sharp swift blow
birr, whir, whirr, whirring
sound of something in rapid motion
whistle, whistling
the sound made by something moving rapidly or by steam coming out of a small aperture
whiz
a buzzing or hissing sound as of something traveling rapidly through the air
zing
a brief high-pitched buzzing or humming sound
zizz
a buzzing or whizzing sound
baa
the cry made by sheep
bam, bang, blast, clap, eruption
a sudden very loud noise
banging
a continuing very loud noise
bark
the sound made by a dog
bark
a noise resembling the bark of a dog
bay
the sound of a hound on the scent
blare, blaring, cacophony, clamor, din
a loud harsh or strident noise
boom, roar, roaring, thunder
a deep prolonged loud noise
bleat
the sound of sheep or goats (or any sound resembling this)
bray
the cry of an ass
cackle
the sound made by a hen after laying an egg
caterwaul
the yowling sound made by a cat in heat
caw
the sound made by corvine birds
chatter, chattering
the high-pitched continuing noise made by animals (birds or monkeys)
chatter, chattering
the rapid series of noises made by the parts of a machine
cheep, peep
the short weak cry of a young bird
chug
the dull explosive noise made by an engine
clack, clap
a sharp abrupt noise as if two objects hit together; may be repeated
clang, clangor, clangoring, clangour, clank, clash, crash
a loud resonant repeating noise
clatter
a rattling noise (often produced by rapid movement)
clickety-clack, clickety-click
a fast and rhythmic click-clack
cluck, clucking
the sound made by a hen (as in calling her chicks)
coo
the sound made by a pigeon
crack, cracking, snap
a sudden sharp noise
crackle, crackling, crepitation
the sharp sound of snapping noises
creak, creaking
a squeaking sound
crow
the cry of a cock (or an imitation of it)
crunch
the sound of something crunching
ding-dong
the noise made by a bell
explosion
the noise caused by an explosion
gobble
the characteristic sound made by a turkey cock
grate
a harsh rasping sound made by scraping something
grinding
a harsh and strident sound (as of the grinding of gears)
growl, growling
the sound of growling (as made by animals)
grunt, oink
the short low gruff noise of the kind made by hogs
fizzle, hiss, hissing, hushing, sibilation
a fricative sound (especially as an expression of disapproval)
honk
the cry of a goose (or any sound resembling this)
howl
a loud sustained noise resembling the cry of a hound
howl
the long plaintive cry of a hound or a wolf
brouhaha, hubbub, katzenjammer, uproar
loud confused noise from many sources
hum, humming
a humming noise
knell
the sound of a bell rung slowly to announce a death or a funeral or the end of something
meow, mew, miaou, miaow, miaul
the sound made by a cat (or any sound resembling this)
moo
the sound made by a cow or bull
neigh, nicker, whicker, whinny
the characteristic sounds made by a horse
pant
the noise made by a short puff of steam (as from an engine)
pitter-patter
a series of rapid tapping sounds
plonk
the noise of something dropping (as into liquid)
plop
the noise of a rounded object dropping into a liquid without a splash
plump
the sound of a sudden heavy fall
racket
a loud and disturbing noise
rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat-tat, rat-tat
a series of short sharp taps (as made by strokes on a drum or knocks on a door)
rale, rattle, rattling
a rapid series of short loud sounds (as might be heard with a stethoscope in some types of respiratory disorders)
report
a sharp explosive sound (especially the sound of a gun firing)
rhonchus
a sound like whistling or snoring that is heard with a stethoscope during expiration as air passes through obstructed channels
roar
the sound made by a lion
grumble, grumbling, rumble, rumbling
a loud low dull continuous noise
rustle, rustling, whisper, whispering
a light noise, like the noise of silk clothing or leaves blowing in the wind
scrape, scraping, scratch, scratching
a harsh noise made by scraping
scream, screaming, screech, screeching, shriek, shrieking
a high-pitched noise resembling a human cry
scrunch
a crunching noise
shrilling
a continuing shrill noise
sizzle
a sizzling noise
slam
the noise made by the forceful impact of two objects
snap
the noise produced by the rapid movement of a finger from the tip to the base of the thumb on the same hand
snore
the rattling noise produced when snoring
spatter, spattering, splatter, splattering, splutter, sputter, sputtering
the noise of something spattering or sputtering explosively
plash, splash
the sound like water splashing
squawk
the noise of squawking
squeak
a short high-pitched noise
squish
the noise of soft mud being walked on
stridulation
a shrill grating or chirping noise made by some insects by rubbing body parts together
swoosh, whoosh
the noise produced by the sudden rush of a fluid (a gas or liquid)
thunder
a booming or crashing noise caused by air expanding along the path of a bolt of lightning
ticktock, tictac, tocktact
steady recurrent ticking sound as made by a clock
tramp
a heavy footfall
tweet
a weak chirping sound as of a small bird
tremolo
vocal vibrato especially an excessive or poorly controlled one
yelp, yelping, yip
a sharp high-pitched cry (especially by a dog)
angelus, angelus bell
the sound of a bell rung in Roman Catholic churches to announce the time when the Angelus should be recited
bell ringing
the sound of someone playing a set of bells
Type of:
happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent
an event that happens

n the audible part of a transmitted signal

Synonyms:
audio
Type of:
auditory communication
communication that relies on hearing

n (phonetics) an individual sound unit of speech without concern as to whether or not it is a phoneme of some language

Synonyms:
phone, speech sound
Types:
show 24 types...
hide 24 types...
phoneme
(linguistics) one of a small set of speech sounds that are distinguished by the speakers of a particular language
vowel, vowel sound
a speech sound made with the vocal tract open
glide, semivowel
a vowellike sound that serves as a consonant
consonant
a speech sound that is not a vowel
orinasal, orinasal phone
a speech sound produced with both the oral and nasal passages open (as French nasal vowels)
sonant, voiced sound
a speech sound accompanied by sound from the vocal cords
allophone
(linguistics) any of various acoustically different forms of the same phoneme
ablaut
a vowel whose quality or length is changed to indicate linguistic distinctions (such as sing sang sung song)
diphthong
a vowel sound that starts near the articulatory position for one vowel and moves toward the position for another
schwa, shwa
a neutral middle vowel; occurs in unstressed syllables
stem vowel, thematic vowel
a vowel that ends a stem and precedes an inflection
palatal
a semivowel produced with the tongue near the palate (like the initial sound in the English word `yeast')
alveolar, alveolar consonant, dental, dental consonant
a consonant articulated with the tip of the tongue near the gum ridge
obstruent
a consonant that is produced with a partial or complete blockage of the airflow from the lungs through the nose or mouth
aspirate
a consonant pronounced with aspiration
labial, labial consonant
a consonant whose articulation involves movement of the lips
labiodental, labiodental consonant
a consonant whose articulation involves the lips and teeth
nasal, nasal consonant
a consonant produced through the nose with the mouth closed
lingual
a consonant that is produced with the tongue and other speech organs
liquid
a frictionless continuant that is not a nasal consonant (especially `l' and `r')
geminate
a doubled or long consonant
surd, voiceless consonant
a consonant produced without sound from the vocal cords
velar, velar consonant
a consonant produced with the back of the tongue touching or near the soft palate
guttural, guttural consonant, pharyngeal, pharyngeal consonant
a consonant articulated in the back of the mouth or throat
Type of:
language unit, linguistic unit
one of the natural units into which linguistic messages can be analyzed

v make a certain noise or sound

Synonyms:
go
Types:
show 85 types...
hide 85 types...
snarl
make a snarling noise or move with a snarling noise
sing, whistle
make a whining, ringing, or whistling sound
blow
make a sound as if blown
ting
make a light, metallic sound; go `ting'
make noise, noise, resound
emit a noise
splat
give off the sound of a bullet flattening on impact
twang
sound with a twang
clang, clangor
make a loud noise
clank
make a clank
clangor, clangour
make a loud resonant noise
boom, boom out
make a deep hollow sound
beat, drum, thrum
make a rhythmic sound
rattle
make short successive sounds
beat, tick, ticktack, ticktock
make a sound like a clock or a timer
resonate, vibrate
sound with resonance
crash
make a sudden loud sound
tweet, twirp
make a weak, chirping sound
skirl
make a shrill, wailing sound
gurgle
make sounds similar to gurgling water
glug
make a gurgling sound as of liquid issuing from a bottle
blow
sound by having air expelled through a tube
whish
make a sibilant sound
guggle
make a sound like a liquid that is being poured from a bottle
ping
make a short high-pitched sound
knock, ping, pink
sound like a car engine that is firing too early
trump
produce a sound as if from a trumpet
squelch
make a sucking sound
chug
make a dull, explosive sound
peal, ring
sound loudly and sonorously
bombilate, bombinate, buzz
make a buzzing sound
chime
emit a sound
rustle
make a dry crackling sound
crack, snap
make a sharp sound
crack
make a very sharp explosive sound
beep, blare, claxon, honk, toot
make a loud noise
whistle
make whistling sounds
echo, resound, reverberate, ring
ring or echo with sound
thud, thump
make a dull sound
clop, clump, clunk, plunk
make or move along with a sound as of a horse's hooves striking the ground
patter, pitter-patter
make light, rapid and repeated sounds
knock, pink, rap, tap
make light, repeated taps on a surface
click, tick
make a clicking or ticking sound
chatter, click
click repeatedly or uncontrollably
pop
make a sharp explosive noise
chink, clink, tink, tinkle
make or emit a high sound
slosh, slush, splash, splosh
make a splashing sound
hum, thrum
sound with a monotonous hum
bleep
emit a single short high-pitched signal
grumble, rumble
make a low noise
boom, din
make a resonant sound, like artillery
bang
to produce a sharp often metallic explosive or percussive sound
babble, bubble, burble, guggle, gurgle, ripple
flow in an irregular current with a bubbling noise
lap, swish, swoosh, swosh
move with or cause to move with a whistling or hissing sound
drone
make a monotonous low dull sound
birr, purr, whir, whirr, whiz, whizz
make a soft swishing sound
roll
emit, produce, or utter with a deep prolonged reverberating sound
sizzle
make a sound like frying fat
howl, roar
make a loud noise, as of wind, water, or vehicles
purl, sough
make a murmuring sound
make vibrant sounds, purr
indicate pleasure by purring; characteristic of cats
claxon, honk
use the horn of a car
hum
make a low continuous sound
crackle, crunch, scranch, scraunch
make a crushing noise
creak, screak, screech, skreak, squeak, whine
make a high-pitched, screeching noise
racket
make loud and annoying noises
brattle, clack, clatter
make a rattling sound
clitter, stridulate
make a shrill creaking noise by rubbing together special bodily structures
drown out
make imperceptible
jangle, jingle, jingle-jangle
make a sound typical of metallic objects
scream
make a loud, piercing sound
backfire
emit a loud noise as a result of undergoing a backfire
ruckle
make a hoarse, rattling sound
crackle, crepitate
make a crackling sound
ring out
sound loudly
ding, dingdong, dong
go `ding dong', like a bell
tintinnabulate
ring or sound like a small bell
peal
ring recurrently
knell
ring as in announcing death
blare, blast
make a strident sound
tootle
play (a musical instrument) casually
consonate
sound in sympathy
reecho
repeat or return an echo again or repeatedly; send (an echo) back
reecho
echo repeatedly, echo again and again
bong
ring loudly and deeply
sputter
make an explosive sound
Type of:
cause to be perceived
have perceptible qualities

v give off a certain sound or sounds

“This record sounds scratchy”
Types:
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
cackel
make a cackling sound
play
emit recorded sound
dissonate
be dissonant or harsh
pierce
sound sharply or shrilly
speak
make a characteristic or natural sound

v cause to sound

sound the bell”
sound a certain note”
Types:
show 22 types...
hide 22 types...
play
perform music on (a musical instrument)
blow
play or sound a wind instrument
twang
cause to sound with a twang
prepare
lead up to and soften by sounding the dissonant note in it as a consonant note in the preceding chord
gong
sound a gong
ting
cause to make a ting
strum, thrum
sound the strings of (a string instrument)
knell, ring
make (bells) ring, often for the purposes of musical edification
pop
cause to make a sharp explosive sound
clink
make a high sound typical of glass
register
manipulate the registers of an organ
skirl
play the bagpipes
beat
produce a rhythm by striking repeatedly
tweedle
play negligently on a musical instrument
chord
play chords on (a string instrument)
pipe
play on a pipe
drum
play a percussion instrument
harp
play the harp
fiddle
play the violin or fiddle
trumpet
play or blow on the trumpet
clarion
blow the clarion
toll
ring slowly

v announce by means of a sound

sound the alarm”
Type of:
announce, denote
make known; make an announcement

v utter with vibrating vocal chords

Synonyms:
vocalise, vocalize, voice
Antonyms:
devoice
utter with tense vocal chords
Types:
chirk
make a shrill creaking, squeaking, or noise, as of a door, mouse, or bird
quaver, waver
give off unsteady sounds, alternating in amplitude or frequency
Type of:
articulate, enounce, enunciate, pronounce, say, sound out
speak, pronounce, or utter in a certain way
2

v appear in a certain way

“This sounds interesting”
Type of:
appear, look, seem
give a certain impression or have a certain outward aspect
3

n a narrow channel of the sea joining two larger bodies of water

Synonyms:
strait
Examples:
show 20 examples...
hide 20 examples...
Canakkale Bogazi
the strait between the Aegean and the Sea of Marmara that separates European Turkey from Asian Turkey
East River
a tidal strait separating Manhattan and the Bronx from Queens and Brooklyn
Bering Strait
a strait connecting the Bering Sea to the Arctic Ocean
Bosporus
a strait connecting the Mediterranean and the Black Sea; separates the European and Asian parts of Turkey; an important shipping route
Cook Strait
a narrow strait separating the North Island and South Island in New Zealand
Golden Gate
a strait in western California that connects the San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean; discovered in 1579 by Sir Francis Drake
Kattegatt
a strait of the North Sea between Jutland and Sweden; connects with the North Sea through the Skagerrak
Korean Strait
a strait between Korea and Japan; connects the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan
Menai Strait
a strait in northern Wales between Anglesey Island and the mainland
North Channel
a strait between Northern Ireland and Scotland that connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea
Skagerrak
a broad strait of the North Sea between Jutland and Norway
Solent
a strait of the English Channel between the coast of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
Strait of Georgia
the strait separating Vancouver Island from the Canadian mainland
Strait of Gibraltar
the strait between Spain and Africa
Strait of Hormuz
a strategically important strait linking the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman
Strait of Magellan
the strait separating South America from Tierra del Fuego and other islands to the south of the continent; discovered by Ferdinand Magellan in 1520; an important route around South America before the Panama Canal was built
Strait of Messina
the strait separating Sicily from the tip of Italy
Strait of Calais
the strait between the English Channel and the North Sea; shortest distance between England and the European continent
Torres Strait
a strait between northeastern Australia and southern New Guinea that connects the Coral Sea with the Arafura Sea
Verrazano Narrows
a narrow channel of water separating Staten Island and Brooklyn
Types:
narrow
a narrow strait connecting two bodies of water
Type of:
channel
a deep and relatively narrow body of water (as in a river or a harbor or a strait linking two larger bodies) that allows the best passage for vessels

n a large ocean inlet or deep bay

“the main body of the sound ran parallel to the coast”
Examples:
Long Island Sound
a sound between Long Island and Connecticut
Puget Sound
an inlet of the North Pacific in northwestern Washington State
Queen Charlotte Sound
an inlet of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia
Type of:
body of water, water
the part of the earth's surface covered with water (such as a river or lake or ocean)

v measure the depth of (a body of water) with a sounding line

Synonyms:
fathom
Type of:
measure, quantify
express as a number or measure or quantity
4

adj in good condition; free from defect or damage or decay

“a sound timber”
“the wall is sound
“a sound foundation”
Synonyms
solid, strong, substantial
of good quality and condition; solidly built
Antonyms:
unsound
not in good condition; damaged or decayed
corroded
eaten away as by acid or oxidation
decayed, rotted, rotten
damaged by decay; hence unsound and useless
show more antonyms...

adj in excellent physical condition

“a sound mind in a sound body”
Synonyms:
good
healthy
having or indicating good health in body or mind; free from infirmity or disease

adj free from moral defect

“a man of sound character”
Synonyms
righteous
characterized by or proceeding from accepted standards of morality or justice

adj exercising or showing good judgment

“a sound approach to the problem”
sound advice”
“no sound explanation for his decision”
Synonyms:
healthy, intelligent, level-headed, levelheaded
reasonable, sensible
showing reason or sound judgment

adj financially secure and safe

sound investments”
“a sound economy”
Synonyms
unbroken
not broken; whole and intact; in one piece
undamaged
not harmed or spoiled; sound
fit
physically and mentally sound or healthy
healthy
having or indicating good health in body or mind; free from infirmity or disease
uninjured
not injured physically or mentally
dependable, good, safe, secure
financially sound
healthy
financially secure and functioning well
solid
financially sound
stable
firm and dependable; subject to little fluctuation
wholesome
conducive to or characteristic of physical or moral well-being
Antonyms:
unsound
not sound financially
broken
physically and forcibly separated into pieces or cracked or split
damaged
harmed or injured or spoiled
unfit
not in good physical or mental condition; out of condition
unhealthy
not in or exhibiting good health in body or mind
injured
harmed
bad, high-risk, risky, speculative
not financially safe or secure
long
involving substantial risk
wildcat
outside the bounds of legitimate or ethical business practices
unwholesome
detrimental to physical or moral well-being
show more antonyms...

adj logically valid

“a sound argument”
Synonyms:
reasoned, well-grounded
valid
well grounded in logic or truth or having legal force

adj having legal efficacy or force

“a sound title to the property”
Synonyms:
effectual, legal
valid
well grounded in logic or truth or having legal force
5

adj thorough

“a sound thrashing”
Synonyms
complete
having every necessary or normal part or component or step

adj (of sleep) deep and complete

“a sound sleeper”
Synonyms:
heavy, profound, wakeless
deep
relatively deep or strong; affecting one deeply
WORD FAMILY
USAGE EXAMPLES