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sound Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the particular auditory effect produced by a given cause
    • the sound of rain on the roof
    • the beautiful sound of music
  2. noun the subjective sensation of hearing something
    auditory sensation.
    • he strained to hear the faint sounds
  3. noun mechanical vibrations transmitted by an elastic medium
    • falling trees make a sound in the forest even when no one is there to hear them
  4. noun the sudden occurrence of an audible event
    • the sound awakened them
  5. noun the audible part of a transmitted signal
    • they always raise the audio for commercials
  6. noun (phonetics) an individual sound unit of speech without concern as to whether or not it is a phoneme of some language
    phone; speech sound.
  7. noun a narrow channel of the sea joining two larger bodies of water
  8. noun a large ocean inlet or deep bay
    • the main body of the sound ran parallel to the coast
  9. verb appear in a certain way
    • This sounds interesting
  10. verb make a certain noise or sound
    • She went `Mmmmm'
    • The gun went `bang'
  11. verb give off a certain sound or sounds
    • This record sounds scratchy
  12. verb announce by means of a sound
    • sound the alarm
  13. verb utter with vibrating vocal chords
    vocalize; voice; vocalise.
  14. verb cause to sound
    • sound the bell
    • sound a certain note
  15. verb measure the depth of (a body of water) with a sounding line
  16. adjective financially secure and safe
    • sound investments
    • a sound economy
  17. adjective satellite exercising or showing good judgment
    healthy; levelheaded; intelligent; level-headed.
    • healthy scepticism
    • a healthy fear of rattlesnakes
    • the healthy attitude of French laws
    • healthy relations between labor and management
    • an intelligent solution
    • a sound approach to the problem
    • sound advice
    • no sound explanation for his decision
  18. adjective in good condition; free from defect or damage or decay
    • a sound timber
    • the wall is sound
    • a sound foundation
  19. adjective satellite in excellent physical condition
    • good teeth
    • I still have one good leg
    • a sound mind in a sound body
  20. adjective satellite logically valid
    well-grounded; reasoned.
    • a sound argument
  21. adjective satellite having legal efficacy or force
    effectual; legal.
    • a sound title to the property
  22. adjective satellite free from moral defect
    • a man of sound character
  23. adjective satellite (of sleep) deep and complete
    heavy; wakeless; profound.
    • a heavy sleep
    • fell into a profound sleep
    • a sound sleeper
    • deep wakeless sleep
  24. adjective satellite thorough
    • a sound thrashing

Sound noun
AS. sund a swimming, akin to E. swim. See Swim.
  1. The air bladder of a fish; as, cod sounds are an esteemed article of food.
Sound noun
  1. (Zoöl.) A cuttlefish. Obs. Ainsworth.
Sound adjective
OE. sound, AS. sund; akin to D. gezond, G. gesund, OHG. gisunt, Dan. & Sw. sund, and perhaps to L. sanus. Cf. Sane.
comparative Sounder ; superlative Soundest
  1. Whole; unbroken; unharmed; free from flaw, defect, or decay; perfect of the kind; as, sound timber; sound fruit; a sound tooth; a sound ship.
  2. Healthy; not diseased; not being in a morbid state; -- said of body or mind; as, a sound body; a sound constitution; a sound understanding.
  3. Firm; strong; safe.
    The brasswork here, how rich it is in beams, And how, besides, it makes the whole house sound. Chapman.
  4. Free from error; correct; right; honest; true; faithful; orthodox; -- said of persons; as, a sound lawyer; a sound thinker.
    Do not I know you a favorer Of this new seat? Ye are nor sound. Shak.
  5. Founded in truth or right; supported by justice; not to be overthrown on refuted; not fallacious; as, sound argument or reasoning; a sound objection; sound doctrine; sound principles.
    Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me. 2 Tim. i. 13.
  6. heavy; laid on with force; as, a sound beating.
  7. Undisturbed; deep; profound; as, sound sleep.
  8. Founded in law; legal; valid; not defective; as, a sound title to land. Sound is sometimes used in the formation of self-explaining compounds; as, sound-headed, sound-hearted, sound-timbered, etc.
Sound adverb
  1. Soundly.
    So sound he slept that naught might him awake. Spenser.
Sound noun
AS. sund a narrow sea or strait; akin to Icel., Sw., Dan. & G. sund, probably so named because it could be swum across. See Swim.
  1. (Geog.) A narrow passage of water, or a strait between the mainland and an island; also, a strait connecting two seas, or connecting a sea or lake with the ocean; as, the Sound between the Baltic and the german Ocean; Long Island Sound.
    The Sound of Denmark, where ships pay toll. Camden.
Sound transitive verb
F. sonder; cf. AS. sundgyrd a sounding rod, sundline a sounding line (see Sound a narrow passage of water).
imperfect & past participle Sounded; present participle & verbal noun Sounding
  1. To measure the depth of; to fathom; especially, to ascertain the depth of by means of a line and plummet.
  2. Fig.: To ascertain, or try to ascertain, the thoughts, motives, and purposes of (a person); to examine; to try; to test; to probe.
    I was in jest, And by that offer meant to sound your breast. Dryden.
    I've sounded my Numidians man by man. Addison.
  3. (Med.) To explore, as the bladder or urethra, with a sound; to examine with a sound; also, to examine by auscultation or percussion; as, to sound a patient.
Sound intransitive verb
  1. To ascertain the depth of water with a sounding line or other device.
    I sound as a shipman soundeth in the sea with his plummet to know the depth of sea. Palsgrave.
Sound noun
F. sonde. See Sound to fathom.
  1. (Med.) Any elongated instrument or probe, usually metallic, by which cavities of the body are sounded or explored, especially the bladder for stone, or the urethra for a stricture.
Sound noun
OE. soun, OF. son, sun, F. son, fr. L. sonus akin to Skr. svana sound, svan to sound, and perh. to E. swan. Cf. Assonant, Consonant, Person, Sonata, Sonnet, Sonorous, Swan.
  1. The peceived object occasioned by the impulse or vibration of a material substance affecting the ear; a sensation or perception of the mind received through the ear, and produced by the impulse or vibration of the air or other medium with which the ear is in contact; the effect of an impression made on the organs of hearing by an impulse or vibration of the air caused by a collision of bodies, or by other means; noise; report; as, the sound of a drum; the sound of the human voice; a horrid sound; a charming sound; a sharp, high, or shrill sound.
    The warlike sound Of trumpets loud and clarions. Milton.
  2. The occasion of sound; the impulse or vibration which would occasion sound to a percipient if present with unimpaired; hence, the theory of vibrations in elastic media such cause sound; as, a treatise on sound. ✍ In this sense, sounds are spoken of as audible and inaudible.
  3. Noise without signification; empty noise; noise and nothing else.
    Sense and not sound . . . must be the principle. Locke.
Sound intransitive verb
OE. sounen, sownen, OF. soner, suner, F. sonner, from L. sonare. See Sound a noise.
  1. To make a noise; to utter a voice; to make an impulse of the air that shall strike the organs of hearing with a perceptible effect. "And first taught speaking trumpets how to sound." Dryden.
    How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues! Shak.
  2. To be conveyed in sound; to be spread or published; to convey intelligence by sound.
    From you sounded out the word of the Lord. 1 Thess. i. 8.
  3. To make or convey a certain impression, or to have a certain import, when heard; hence, to seem; to appear; as, this reproof sounds harsh; the story sounds like an invention.
    Good sir, why do you start, and seem to fear Things that do sound so fair? Shak.
Sound transitive verb
  1. To causse to make a noise; to play on; as, to sound a trumpet or a horn.
    A bagpipe well could he play and soun[d]. Chaucer.
  2. To cause to exit as a sound; as, to sound a note with the voice, or on an instrument.
  3. To order, direct, indicate, or proclain by a sound, or sounds; to give a signal for by a certain sound; as, to sound a retreat; to sound a parley.
    The clock sounded the hour of noon. G. H. Lewes.
  4. To celebrate or honor by sounds; to cause to be reported; to publish or proclaim; as, to sound the praises of fame of a great man or a great exploit.
  5. To examine the condition of (anything) by causing the same to emit sounds and noting their character; as, to sound a piece of timber; to sound a vase; to sound the lungs of a patient.
  6. To signify; to import; to denote. Obs. Milton.
    Soun[d]ing alway the increase of his winning. Chaucer.

Webster 1913