beep

A beep is a brief warning sound. You might give a quick beep on your car horn to let a bicyclist know you're passing her on the road.

Your friend's voice mail might say, "Leave a message after the beep!" and your smoke alarm might emit an annoying series of beeps when its battery is dying. In either case, you'll hear a high-pitched, brief tone. The word is imitative — it sounds like what it means — and relatively new, only as old as the car horns it imitates. Beep was first an interjection in the 1920s, and a noun and a verb by the end of the decade.

Definitions of beep
  1. noun
    a short high tone produced as a signal or warning
    synonyms: bleep
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    type of:
    sound
    the sudden occurrence of an audible event
  2. verb
    call, summon, or alert with a beeper
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    type of:
    call, send for
    order, request, or command to come
  3. verb
    make a loud noise
    synonyms: blare, claxon, honk, toot
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    types:
    tootle
    play (a musical instrument) casually
    type of:
    go, sound
    make a certain noise or sound
Word Family