Common Senses: Sonare

Sonare means "to sound" in Latin. To hear your synapses firing, read these lists aloud: phone, audire
Here are links to more sensory stimulation: pathos, sentire, tangere, videre, specere, opsis

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. sonic
    relating to audible sound
    Instead, he lets his ears guide him on an adventure to track down quirky, extreme and historically venerated phenomena of our sonic universe.New York Times (Apr 23, 2014)
    sonare (to sound) + ic (suffix forming adjectives)
    The phrase "sonic universe" echoes "cosmic universe" but its focus is on sounds on earth that are audible to human ears. The cosmic universe is also very noisy, but the sounds in space need more sensitive instruments to detect.
  2. infrasonic
    having frequencies below those of audible sound
    These infrasonic sounds can rattle and paralyze prey.Scientific American (Apr 10, 2013)
    infra (below) + sonare (to sound) + ic (suffix forming adjectives)
    The prefix "sub" also means "below" so subsonic sounds are the same as infrasonic sounds. But infrared light consists of wavelengths greater than those that can be seen by human eyes.
  3. supersonic
    greater than the speed of sound in a given medium
    Federal authorities prohibit supersonic flight over the U.S., because sonic booms are annoying.BusinessWeek (Jul 15, 2013)
    super (above) + sonare (to sound) + ic (suffix forming adjectives)
    In describing the speed of sound, "supersonic" and "subsonic" are antonyms. As suggested by the previous example sentence, subsonic or infrasonic sounds can rattle small creatures. A sonic boom created by a supersonic jet is more explosive and can rattle windows and buildings.
  4. sonorous
    full and loud and deep
    His is not a voice that begins at the ankles the way Mr. Sheppard’s seemed to, but it is deep and sonorous enough.New York Times (May 5, 2013)
    sonare (to sound) + ous (suffix forming adjectives)
    The sound of the word contributes to its use in mostly pleasant ways. A more annoying adjective that also means loud comes from the name of a Greek herald in Homer's "Iliad": stentorian.
  5. assonance
    the repetition of similar vowels in successive words
    The splendid onomatopoeia of "hoary roaring sea" reminds us how well assonance and alliteration work throughout the poem.The Guardian (Jun 25, 2012)
    ad (to) + sonare (to sound) + ance (suffix forming abstract nouns)
    Alliteration uses the same consonant at the beginning of each word to create a sound effect that might help with memory or emphasis. Onomatopoeia uses words that imitate the sounds they describe. According to these definitions, the phrase "hoary roaring sea" has onomatopoeia and assonance, but not alliteration. But alliteration can also connect consonants that are close by.
  6. consonance
    the property of sounding harmonious
    There is a consonance of all things, a blending of all that we know about the material world and the spiritual.Keller, Helen
    com (with) + sonare (to sound) + ance (suffix forming abstract nouns)
    The example sentence uses "consonance" as an antonym of "dissonance" but it also has a poetic meaning that's connected to "assonance" and "alliteration": the repetition of similar consonant sounds, especially at the ends of words.
  7. dissonance
    disagreeable sounds
    The paintings teeter between order and chaos, harmony and dissonance, beauty and ugliness.New York Times (Apr 3, 2014)
    dis (apart) + sonare (to sound) + ance (suffix forming abstract nouns)
    In the example sentence, "dissonance" can be replaced with "cacophony" to create more of a contrast with "harmony" and to connect sonically to "chaos" in the first pair of antonyms.
  8. resonance
    a relationship of mutual understanding between people
    “We listen for emotional resonance. We don’t listen for money in our melodies.”Forbes (May 23, 2014)
    re (again) + sonare (to sound) + ance (suffix forming abstract nouns)
    Because the example sentences are focused on music, "resonance" suggests the physical property of sound that can be intensified and prolonged by vibration. But the word is used to emphasize that the musicians' focus is not on physical sound or financial gain, but on the emotional impact on people's heartstrings.
  9. sonata
    a musical composition of movements of contrasting forms
    Many young virtuoso pianists perform the Beethoven sonatas as a demonstration of their musical depth.New York Times (Mar 20, 2014)
    "Sonata" is the Italian feminine past participle of the Latin verb "sonare." A sonatina is a shorter and simpler sonata.
  10. unison
    the act of occurring together or simultaneously
    “Tell us about it,” said 20 hockey teams in unison.Seattle Times (May 17, 2014)
    uni (one) + sonus (sound)
    This word usually has a positive tone, because the oneness of the sound is created by many voices coming together in peaceful agreement. Compare this with a word that has a more negative tone but similar Greek roots: mono (one) + tonos (tone).
  11. sonogram
    image produced by reflections of high-frequency sound waves
    Women will be offered the option of hearing the heartbeat and seeing the sonogram image, which they may decline.Reuters (May 19, 2011)
    sonare (to sound) + gram (suffix forming nouns about instruments for recording or something written)
    Compare with "ultrasound"--although the breakdowns of the two words show that "sonogram" would be a better noun to refer to the image produced by ultrasound technology, both words are now used interchangeably by excited prospective parents.
  12. sounding
    a measure of the depth of water taken with a sounding line
    We must frequently throw out the sounding line into the shifting sea of possibility in order to find secure anchorage.Cumont, Franz
    sonare (to sound) + ing (suffix forming gerunds, which are nouns from the present participle of verbs)
    The sounding line here is figurative--it compares a world of possibilities to a shifting sea, whose depths must often be tested to find safe places that would not result in being stuck in the shallows, drowned by the waves, or crushed by the pressure. A literal sounding line is also called a plumb line--from which a weight, often made of lead, is suspended to plumb the watery depth.
  13. soundproof
    insulate against noise
    The company converted two closets into quiet rooms with soundproofing material on the walls and shower doors.BusinessWeek (Mar 13, 2014)
    sonare (to sound) + proof (suffix forming adjectives meaning able to withstand)
    As the breakdown of the word suggests, it originated as an adjective, similar to "bulletproof" and "foolproof." Hyphenated, the compound word would emphasize the action of proofing, but the word is more often used without the hyphen to function as either a verb or adjective. The example sentence uses the present participle of the verb to function as an adjective.
  14. resound
    ring or echo with noise
    The hills resound with the need to be heard.New York Times (Feb 14, 2014)
    re (back) + sonare (to sound)
    Compare with "resonance"--although the example sentence focuses on the physical resounding of sound, it also creates emotional resonance by alluding to lyrics from a scene in "The Sound of Music."
  15. ultrasound
    very high frequency sound; used in ultrasonography
    These katydids communicate in ultrasound, a range too high for most ears in the animal world—and therefore most potential predators.Scientific American (Nov 19, 2012)
    ultra (beyond) + sonare (to sound)
    Compare with "infrasonic"--both describe sounds that humans cannot hear, but "infrasonic" covers a range below 20 hertz while "ultrasound" covers a range above 20,000 hertz.

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