Definition of background noise in English:

background noise


  • 1[mass noun] Extraneous sound which can be heard while listening to or monitoring other sounds:

    ‘the background noise overwhelms any dialogue’
    • ‘The street background noise is very important in your two films.’
    • ‘If you have a bad location, with cramped, poorly lit rooms, with lots of background noise, it's unlikely that any learning will take place.’
    • ‘Few of us today really know what silence is, and since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the level of background noise has been constantly rising.’
    • ‘In many of the quieter scenes, there is a strange, persistent background noise that makes it sound like the entire flick was shot next to a busy freeway.’
    • ‘Audiences are brought into the story by the realistic, everyday distraction of background noise, including a ringing phone and traffic.’
    • ‘From the jocular background noise on Emmerson's cellphone, it's obvious they're enjoying themselves.’
    • ‘Some of the dialogue can be hard to hear because of the background noises or music.’
    • ‘The performances are not always flawless, and there is some disturbing background noise.’
    • ‘Effective use is made of natural light and background noise, with Melbourne itself adding enormously to character of the film.’
    • ‘The interview itself also had a distracting level of background noise.’
    • ‘A special sound consultant was brought in to both trace and eliminate background noise.’
    • ‘It would have likely taken more money than the project had to get the background noise out of the soundtrack.’
    • ‘These sleek, stainless steel cooling machines set a new standard for quiet operation, keeping kitchen background noise at a lower level than any other built-in refrigerators.’
    1. 1.1 A person or thing considered to be irrelevant or incidental to the main issue or situation:
      ‘she is nothing but background noise in the story’
      ‘it's the basics that make our lives meaningful, the rest is just background noise’
      • ‘The mortgage crisis was but background noise in your movie.’
      • ‘These events are merely background noise compared to the nuanced consideration of the personal lives and family history deeply imbedded within this chaos.’
      • ‘Really, though, the wedding preparation is just background noise.’
      • ‘The famous guests simply serve as background noise to the proceedings.’
      • ‘To get it right, you've got to grant your reader some credit - don't try to pass off old background noise as news.’
      • ‘For the immigrants themselves, much of this rhetoric is just background noise.’
      • ‘For most of the movie, she was just background noise, an opinionated woman who really didn't want to be there.’
      • ‘The editorial pages - like the news pages - are the distracting background noise of everyday life.’
      • ‘The thoughts and feelings of the broad masses are nothing but background noise, or the occasional fodder for pollsters.’
      • ‘The only difference is the lengthening days, other than that the seasons are mere background noise to the horizontal trajectory of my research.’