Main definitions of sound in English

: sound1sound2sound3sound4

sound1

noun

  • 1Vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person's or animal's ear.

    ‘light travels faster than sound’
    • ‘They make most of their calls at night, when it is cooler and sound travels farthest.’
    • ‘To get the right effect, rooms must have areas that absorb sound and reflect it.’
    • ‘The speed of sound is the speed at which pressure disturbances can be transmitted in a fluid such as air.’
    • ‘It had long been known that sound required a medium to travel through and it was quite natural to postulate a medium for the transmission of light.’
    • ‘It's helpful to imagine sound as waves travelling towards a beach.’
    • ‘There are two persons in a plane which is traveling at a speed greater than the speed of sound.’
    • ‘Since light travels faster than sound, the thunder is heard after the lightning.’
    • ‘I was a very musical person before my accident, afterwards I was in a world of silence with no music and no sound at all.’
    • ‘So if the airplane is travelling faster than the speed of sound, the air cannot move out of the way.’
    • ‘Minute differences in the timing and intensity of sound reaching each ear give the barn owl a fix on its prey.’
    • ‘He travels 3,000 times the speed of sound without his reindeer vaporising?’
    • ‘Lightning is seen first because sound travels slower than light.’
    • ‘Bullets travel faster than sound, so I'll never hear the one that gets me, I reassured myself.’
    • ‘He attempted to examine the vacuum which he was able to create and test whether sound travelled in a vacuum.’
    • ‘Wu still remembers how she learned the principle that sound travels faster through iron than through air.’
    • ‘As a deaf musician Evelyn experiences sound through vibrations, although not, she says, specific notes.’
    • ‘Even when partitions are built to the ceiling, sound can still travel up to the deck and bounce down.’
    • ‘Its Japanese designers believe their plane can travel at twice the speed of sound while reducing supersonic boom to a low rumble.’
    • ‘It was a still and humid afternoon, with only the distant drone of the traffic on the M4 to bring sound to the tableau.’
    • ‘The slate call has holes in the side of the pan to allow sound to travel 360 degrees.’
    1. 1.1[count noun]A thing that can be heard.
      ‘she heard the sound of voices in the hall’
      ‘don't make a sound’
      • ‘After a while, the faint, almost inaudible but unmistakable sound of footsteps could be heard.’
      • ‘The shadow quickly disappeared and the faint sound of fleeing footsteps could be heard.’
      • ‘The steady beep of the heart monitor was the only sound to be heard coming from the dreary hospital room.’
      • ‘The sound of distant ships' engines can be heard from a nearby river, which is dotted with swaying willows.’
      • ‘She moved quietly around the camped and froze when she heard a loud rumbling sound.’
      • ‘The endless sound echoed like thunderous footfalls, beating a tattoo on the inside of her skull.’
      • ‘I let out a hideous animal sound as I sank to my knees to finish off this beast.’
      • ‘The familiar sound of the elevator reaching its designated floor made both women jump.’
      • ‘When he had gone to wait for me in the mine, he had heard a low rumbling sound.’
      • ‘The sound of giggling reached his ears, and Max swiveled his head to find the source.’
      • ‘The sound of the celebrations reached them about halfway down the hill.’
      • ‘Every few minutes a piercing ringing sound could be heard when the inspector examined each alarm.’
      • ‘She listened to hear what she might, but the only sound was the steady clatter heard earlier.’
      • ‘The sound reached a crescendo, then trailed off to the south in a quickly fading Doppler echo.’
      • ‘Just as my eyelids drooped down, I heard a familiar mewing sound.’
      • ‘The sound reached him seconds before he skidded around the corner and located her.’
      • ‘He immediately grabbed it again, when we both heard the unmistakable sound of a shoe squeak.’
      • ‘I heard the ugly sound of a lock click and that is when the stares and whisperings came.’
      • ‘From the door at the very end of the corridor I hear the all-too familiar sound of footsteps.’
      • ‘This sound reached to the edge of the forest and was like a great clamor of metals striking together.’
    2. 1.2The area or distance within which something can be heard.
      ‘we were always within sound of the train whistles’
      • ‘The irony, of course, is that all too often the two sets of music sound exactly the same - which makes it all the more confusing.’
      • ‘Withers owns property within sound of that site.’
      • ‘The glamour of each of these plays has to do with what in them is aristocratic, removed, a high pastime played out within sound of the sea.’
      • ‘We have had a battle, and here I am still, within sound of the cannon!’
      • ‘Indeed, you can find some marvellous fishing within sight and sound of Copenhagen airport itself.’
      • ‘I did though, manage to find ices made with local fruit, ate fish and chips within sound of the sea and got to swallow down an oyster or two.’
  • 2Sound produced by continuous and regular vibrations, as opposed to noise.

    • ‘For him virtuosity per se is not so important as the quality and clarity of sound.’
    • ‘In the pashyanti stage sound possesses qualities such as color and form.’
    • ‘It is her blend of jazz, choral sounds and traditional African music that makes her the sensational jazz musician that she is.’
    • ‘We could kill with song and sound at distances they could not reach with any gun.’
    • ‘The sound is more resonant than I would like it to be, but this is not really a big problem.’
    • ‘Not seeing the need to improve musical sound or a specific technical aspect of playing, or an unwillingness to try new approaches or make changes in playing became a detriment to some students' overall musical progress.’
    • ‘Greater mobility does not at all guarantee a higher quality of sound.’
    • ‘Gradually, from twin speakers, the room is showered with sound.’
    • ‘Why does our premier music venue produce such a dreadful quality of sound?’
    • ‘The music includes vocals and ambient sound, on instruments invented by Strong.’
    • ‘The sound is of good quality though, which is the salient point for any jazz story.’
    • ‘The bartenders make good drinks and they always have quality music and good sound.’
    • ‘The sound produced by drums is short; thus, any continuous sound can be produced only by rapid repetition.’
    • ‘Music and sound are crucial elements in many of his works and he also works with texts’
    • ‘The speaker converts musical sound into vibrations that can be felt.’
    • ‘The main difference between these formats is the quality of sound in relation to the size of the file.’
    • ‘You not only get more music you get better sound, which means you get a different recording.’
    • ‘The warm lyricism of the music unfurled anew in waves of lush orchestral sound.’
    • ‘Moving images and sound fill a room animating thought processes and daydreams.’
    • ‘Unamplified orchestral sound resonates distinctly around the hall, though far from brilliantly.’
  • 3Music, speech, and sound effects when recorded and used to accompany a film, video, or broadcast.

    [as modifier] ‘a sound studio’
    • ‘Director Ryan Redford skilfully employs music, sound and montage to create a taut film.’
    • ‘It records target hits as fast as four shots per second with realistic sound.’
    • ‘The impressive nature of the graphics is only bolstered by the excellent sound found within the title.’
    • ‘In environments like sound recording studios, a machine like this one would be highly desirable.’
    • ‘The film was shot without sound, and recorded interviews were added to accompany images of the women at work.’
    • ‘She did all the scriptwriting, filming, sound, lighting, direction herself.’
    • ‘The risers are rolled in; lights are fixed, sound is cued and video monitors are put in place.’
    • ‘The seven-inch screen can show videos with sound because speakers are also included in the pack.’
    • ‘Video and sound for the documentary are nothing to get excited about, but do the job.’
    • ‘I then sat for two and half days behind a piano with good stuff to record sound.’
    • ‘Much like the video presentations, these sound mixes are all in good working order.’
    • ‘In my opinion the main element letting the majority of films down is sound.’
    • ‘By using little dialogue and less music, he lets the incidental sound support the film's atmosphere.’
    • ‘There Caoimhín focused on the technical side and developed skills in the areas of lighting and sound.’
    • ‘People were less satisfied with poor quality images and poor quality sound.’
    • ‘Modern versions of this kind of studio could allow various sound and video clips to be playlisted and cued in manually.’
    • ‘Great video and sound and tons of trailers might make up for a too short running time.’
    • ‘There's a lot of ambient sound in this film, and it's very well presented in both mixes.’
    • ‘The installation also includes a video with sound showing images of the sewing group and their community.’
    • ‘It's the first hint of the superb use of sound in this film, both ambient and on the soundtrack.’
    1. 3.1Broadcasting by radio as distinct from television.
      • ‘The accent at the BBC at the time was very much toward sound rather than television.’
      • ‘The fidelity of sound equipment subsequently improved considerably, but the receivers did not.’
      • ‘Vision was transmitted on 261.3 metres and sound on 398.9 metres, medium wave.’
      • ‘The dilemma facing the BBC at the time was it was still committed to maintain its mammoth organisation of sound broadcasting and television was very much secondary to its plans.’
    2. 3.2The distinctive quality of the music of a particular composer or performer or of the sound produced by a particular instrument.
      ‘the sound of the Beatles’
      • ‘Everything's in place here, but they could stand to find a more distinctive sound vocally.’
      • ‘Much of the band's sound is identified by Chris' voice.’
      • ‘The trademark sound of his instruments had been cheaply reproduced on digital synthesisers and he had lost control of his brand name.’
      • ‘We were always searching for the best bass drum sound.’
      • ‘Musically I guess the move played a part in developing my own sound by expanding my range of influences.’
      • ‘The sound of Spanish guitars has often been the source of irritation for me.’
      • ‘Their music, while possessing an undeniably indie guitar sound, is just as quirky as the band seems to be.’
      • ‘Here are men who created a signature sound, something instantly recognizable and never duplicated.’
      • ‘The blaring sound of Spanish music twirled round in my head, and the brightly coloured morning sun shone through my closed eyes.’
      • ‘But you know, if you listen to earlier records, the bass drum sounds weren't that great.’
      • ‘The band have spent the last few months working on new material and developing their very unique sound.’
      • ‘Their signature double guitar lead sound has influenced countless bands beyond the rock genre.’
      • ‘Experts said the new instruments have the same sound as those made of snake skin.’
      • ‘The bass guitar sound was typical for the era - round & fluid & effortless.’
      • ‘By swapping guitars for spoons, the band's sound is basic yet shiny.’
      • ‘I just love the fact that he seems entirely fearless, which is why his sound is so distinctive.’
      • ‘Anyway, quite a few people have told me they like the guitar sound on it.’
      • ‘Their instrumental rock sound with quiet and loud dynamics evokes a certain calmness over the listener.’
      • ‘The distinctive Jamaican sound of reggae provides a template for various diasporic musics in the Caribbean.’
      • ‘Their music has a very distinctive and fresh sound, hardcore but very melodic and experimental.’
    3. 3.3informal Popular music.
      ‘sounds of the Sixties’
      • ‘Such sonic mayhem envisioned the sounds of madness, neurosis, and warped wit.’
      • ‘When it comes to the traditional sounds of country music, Johnny Loughrey continues to set the pace.’
      • ‘This is a gem of a song that can make anyone jump up and shake it to the sounds of new-wave "rebel rock."’
      • ‘Patrons will also be able to enjoy the soothing sounds of jazz, reggae and traditional African music.’
      • ‘My biggest beef with electric guitar sounds of the rock persuasion is the lack of dynamics.’
  • 4[in singular] An idea or impression conveyed by words.

    ‘you've had a hard day, by the sound of it’
    • ‘In short, with no backers and - by the sound of it - too few customers, the company has simply run out of cash.’
    • ‘I use to play a lot of computer games, and not very good ones by the sound of it.’
    • ‘The other, who had no experience of the trade but liked the sound of the idea, agreed.’
    • ‘Mr Ali has lost a son who, by the sound of it, was going to contribute to the fabric of society, a peace-loving young man who loved his family.’
    • ‘Some of the children were naturally very frightened and the teacher by the sound of it did an amazing job.’
    • ‘The recording process for Miles is an easy-going, relaxed one by the sound of it.’
    • ‘Frankly, he is not an expert on electoral law, democracy, or anything else, by the sound of it.’
    • ‘It was a little girl, by the sound of it, but before he could go after her, he woke up with a shudder.’
    • ‘The sound of those words chilled us both, as if suddenly the night fog had draped over the two of us without warning.’
    • ‘Dad and Maude were having an argument but by the sound of it not about anything too serious.’
    • ‘By the sound of it, Hylands will be drowning in paperwork for the next two years.’
    • ‘While the sound of the words was actually a bit creepy, she was glad to know the ship was still responsive.’
    idea, thought, concept, impression, prospect, description
    View synonyms

verb

  • 1Emit or cause to emit sound.

    [no object] ‘a loud buzzer sounded’
    [with object] ‘she sounded the horn’
    • ‘Suddenly there was a loud snap, which sounded through the basement, and Lizzie had stopped screaming.’
    • ‘Pulling the car to a stop just outside a well-lit house with music sounding from inside, Jesse grinned.’
    • ‘Just as Jon reached for the handle, the buzzer behind them sounded.’
    • ‘It was unguarded but had a large sign warning that alarms would sound when it opened.’
    • ‘The warning bell had sounded a minute ago.’
    • ‘A shrill ring sounded in her house, and caused her to stop dead in her tracks.’
    • ‘Late that evening, the doorbell's chime sounded throughout the still house.’
    • ‘A sweet-sounding horn sounded outside of the Velnaut residence.’
    • ‘‘Here we go,’ he whispered as a buzz was sounded and the ride began to spin and turn.’
    • ‘If something - or someone - in the water interrupts the beam, an alarm sounds in the house.’
    • ‘They knew that somewhere in the house alarms sounded so they kept moving.’
    • ‘They heard an alarm sounding off in the distance and knew they did not have much time.’
    • ‘At 8: 30, as I peacefully dreamed of building and living in a tree house, the intercom sounded.’
    • ‘An alarm sounded, warning screens blinked and to Petrov's horror a computer map showed the hostile launch of a US nuclear warhead.’
    • ‘From the edge of the field, the horns sounded a harsh blast.’
    • ‘The dhol is a north Indian drum made from goatskin, and anybody who has stood next to one will testify to how loud it sounds when played.’
    • ‘Footsteps sounded in the house, and the sound of the door being closed shot fear through my body.’
    • ‘Ravenna had not long to ponder because footsteps, faint at first but steadily growing louder sounded from the corridor.’
    • ‘All I could do was watch it go, sirens still sounding in the background.’
    • ‘In my mind I am praying, praying for the next buzzer to sound so I can escape the woman's bitter stare.’
    resonate, resound, reverberate, blow, blare
    operate, set off
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with object]Give an audible signal to indicate (something)
      ‘a different bell begins to sound midnight’
      • ‘If the area is so dangerous that it needs such drastic measures to slow down traffic then it seems wholly appropriate that drivers help the locals by sounding a warning sign of their presence.’
      • ‘One email sounded a warning note.’
      • ‘No bells or horns or trumpets sounded the warning of our arrival.’
      • ‘The bell rang, which sounded the start for the day's schooling.’
      • ‘The huntsman's horn sounded the final knell when the last traditional hunt by the Tedworth came to en end.’
      • ‘The Abyssinian crisis of 1935 sounded the first alarm bells.’
      • ‘If your smoke alarm is sounding nuisance alarms, it may need dusting or vacuuming.’
      • ‘Housing association chiefs have sounded a warning shot after evicting their first tenant in York for antisocial behaviour.’
      • ‘One of Yorkshire's leading manufacturing spokesmen has sounded a warning note on employment relations activity for the New Year.’
      • ‘Each stanza is separated by an interlude for the horn, which sounds a deathly fanfare for the wounded and dying of Sitwell's poem.’
      • ‘Should that not have sounded the warning bells?’
      • ‘At the end of the ceremony at sea, a further eight bells were sounded to mark the end of the watch aboard ship - and the first commemoration of the disaster.’
      • ‘Senator Browne says this should have sounded a warning signal that one of the plants would close.’
      • ‘Before he could find one a horn blew somewhere sounding the approach of dawn.’
      • ‘A motorist used her horn to sound the alarm and another tried to block the path of the other car as it sped off.’
      • ‘The car's horn honked a few times, seemingly sounding a cavalry call.’
      • ‘The air horn sounds a blast that can be heard over the roar of aircraft engines.’
      • ‘The bell rang loudly, sounding the beginning of the first period, geography class.’
      • ‘No alarm was sounded at the hospital to indicate any emergency.’
      • ‘A further warning note was sounded by Damian Hopley, chief executive of the Professional Rugby Players' Association.’
    2. 1.2[with object]Express or convey (a warning)
      ‘pharmaceutical companies are sounding the alarm about counterfeit drugs’
      • ‘Eads is now sounding a more conciliatory note on the WTO dispute.’
      • ‘Here, though, a cautionary note may be sounded.’
      • ‘Reynaud succeeded him, sounding a more resolute note, but his cabinet was as divided as Daladier's - and Daladier remained as minister of war.’
      • ‘Most reports of the now public autopsy results sound a strangely triumphal note.’
      • ‘On all current form it should be another home win, but I say that sounding a very definite note of warning.’
      • ‘But this week a panel of wildlife biologists and conservation advocates sounded a more positive note.’
      • ‘England and Wales are at the heart of this drive so let's sound a word of warning for them.’
      • ‘However, Mr Barry sounded a warning note about risks to water everywhere as the silage-cutting season moves into top gear.’
      • ‘But he sounded a ‘note of caution’ on plans to extend the powers of community safety officers.’
      • ‘There is also something else and that is there is a very deeply critical note now being sounded about the Catholic Church by Irish opinion formers.’
      • ‘City Councilman Frank Rizzo sounds a more nostalgic note on the way to suggesting his own candidacy.’
      • ‘Frank Williams sounds a very different note.’
    3. 1.3[with object]Pronounce.
      ‘sound the rhymes clearly’
      • ‘Thus we are trying to get him to sound out refrigerator letters, the same way one would train children on phonics.’
      • ‘Sound the phrase Di di di di di, pulling the ee out freely.’
      • ‘The student should sound out the long /e/ sound.’
    4. 1.4[with object]Test (the lungs or another body cavity) by noting the sound they produce.
      ‘the doctor sounded her chest’
      • ‘Yes, the vet sounded her chest, which was clear, and she is eating normally.’
      • ‘She saw several doctors who sounded her chest and asked if any of her relatives had died of consumption.’
  • 2[no object] Convey a specified impression when heard.

    [with complement] ‘he sounded worried’
    • ‘I had some difficulty deciding on a starter as they all sounded so tempting.’
    • ‘A cheerful guffaw that would have sounded ridiculous coming from anyone else emitted from his mouth.’
    • ‘She didn't sound that pleased to hear from him.’
    • ‘When I said it out loud I sounded so emotionless, like I didn't care and that it didn't matter.’
    • ‘I thought entirely out loud and probably sounded quite crazy.’
    • ‘It came again, sounding louder and more desperate.’
    • ‘Dirt and rock scraped beneath Lior's red boots, sounding far too loud and out of place in the silent city.’
    • ‘Alex had cried, sounding twice as loud in the cave.’
    • ‘She could hardly hear what they were saying but one voice sounded vaguely familiar.’
    • ‘The laughter wasn't very loud, it sounded normal, unlike the laughter of a madman, or a drunken pirate.’
    • ‘Well, I think it was overdubbed, so I don't think we heard how she really sounded.’
    • ‘It sounds more impersonal, but looks at the bigger picture in the decision-making process.’
    • ‘‘Fatty,’ comes her whisper, sounding unnaturally loud in this awful room.’
    • ‘My heart sank when I heard how happy she sounded.’
    • ‘I record phrases that I use often and playback to hear how I may sound to others when I say them.’
    • ‘I like that he always sounds happy to hear from me, even for a short call about nothing.’
    • ‘I have to say, it made me feel better to hear how worried he sounded.’
    • ‘This time she said it louder, sounding genuinely confused.’
    • ‘But after a while it sounded familiar; I heard things in the score I'd heard elsewhere.’
    • ‘Confidence had never been one of her strong points; and now, though she sang louder, she still sounded meek and frightened.’
    1. 2.1(of something or someone that has been described to one) convey a specified impression.
      ‘it sounds as though you really do believe that’
      [with complement] ‘the house sounds lovely’
      • ‘Is it me, or does the name of this blog sound very familiar?’
      • ‘The waves of pain blinded him, and made the noises of the day sound far away.’
      • ‘You can track your book's progress around the world, and it all sounds very lovely and whimsical.’
      • ‘Her name sounded so lovely, so sweet, as it was carried on the wind by his voice.’
      • ‘This synopsis makes the film sound like a depressing cautionary tale but it isn't.’
      • ‘Though it does sound like fun if I ever did have to.’
      • ‘Here, virtuoso Jacques Zoon makes Mozart's music sound as fresh and warm as a doe sipping from a clear mountain spring.’
      • ‘The Beethoven sonatas, recorded two years later in Munich, sound considerably better.’
      • ‘And while the plot makes the film sound like a campy thriller, it never falls into that trap.’
      • ‘As daunting as that may all sound, you'd be amazed at how little the areas can matter.’
      • ‘The woman on the airport intercom sounds lovely and understanding.’
      • ‘Production values are up to snuff; this DVD both looks and sounds good.’
      • ‘In fact, the way you've phrased your description of her behavior sounds like you want to be released.’
      • ‘Even the house sparrow's song sounded harsh and sinister on the day.’
      • ‘The poets all read in their native language, so we didn't understand anything they were saying, though it still sounded lovely.’
      • ‘The advance copy of the record sounds lovely, but the fact there is a record out is more important than the record itself.’
      • ‘As bizarre as it might sound under this house there appeared to be an underground city.’
      • ‘But these contradictions make the film sound more lively and daring than it actually is.’
      • ‘On the other hand, perhaps I am carefully picking my words so that I can make both Gaia and the animal kingdom sound as if they are alive.’
      • ‘From a distance it does sound like a real crying baby and it has a chip inside so it monitors its surroundings.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • sound off

    • Express one's opinions in a loud or forceful manner.

      ‘Pietro started sounding off to the press’
      • ‘And it's all about how no-one takes any notice of him when he sounds off about crime and immigration.’
      • ‘At the same time she can generally shake off any criticism levelled at her for occasionally speaking out loud or just plain sounding off.’
      • ‘The Chancellor is certainly more than capable of sounding off about him, and the relationship between the two is said to be worse than ever.’
      • ‘He's sounding off about corporate scandals one moment, and his record collection the next.’
      • ‘The opposition are sounding off, but I guess by now they are in the habit of moaning about anything the government does.’
      • ‘But some dissidents were only interested in sounding off for the benefit of their constituents.’
      • ‘It is a quasi-governmental body, not just some obscure think-tank sounding off.’
      • ‘Our very opinionated panel sounds off on the day's major stories.’
      • ‘Is this just a personal pet peeve of yours, or are your constituents actually sounding off on the issue?’
      • ‘Our panel sounds off on the political news of the week.’
      speak at length, talk at length, speak, talk, go on, hold forth
      declaim, discourse, spout, expatiate, pontificate, orate, preach, sermonize
      lecture, harangue, fulminate, rant
      spiel, speechify, preachify, drone on
      perorate
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English soun, from Anglo-Norman French soun (noun), suner (verb), from Latin sonus. The form with -d was established in the 16th century.

Pronunciation:

sound

/saʊnd/

Main definitions of sound in English

: sound1sound2sound3sound4

sound2

adjective

  • 1In good condition; not damaged, injured, or diseased.

    ‘they returned safe and sound’
    ‘he was not of sound mind’
    • ‘It is the only way they can maintain a sound mind in a life they dread.’
    • ‘He excels because of sound footwork, strong hands and an outstanding work ethic.’
    • ‘A second medical opinion is required, and the patient must be of sound mind.’
    • ‘Both the mother and babies are in sound condition, said doctors of a local hospital said Tuesday.’
    • ‘A good result like this will, I'm sure, act as a sound platform for more strong challenges in the coming races.’
    • ‘Most are children and, fortunately, most turn up safe and sound within a few days.’
    • ‘Mr Welch said that the pumps appeared to be in sound condition.’
    • ‘If a person is a liar, he is usually of sound mind and lies intentionally for certain benefits.’
    • ‘Packaging is needed to ensure that a product is delivered to customers in a sound condition.’
    • ‘Locke sighed in relief at knowing the girl was safe, sound and within his line of vision.’
    • ‘We could tune in and tune out, reassured that our American values were safe and sound.’
    • ‘Being of more sound mind, I went for the halibut with vegetables.’
    • ‘So I think the most important thing to do is to get a good sound medical and psychiatric diagnosis.’
    • ‘They are amazed that people, otherwise of sound mind, are addicted to it.’
    • ‘Agriculture is the substructure for a sound food security, essential to economic development.’
    • ‘The true, strong and sound mind is the mind that can embrace equally great things and small.’
    • ‘Firstly, the individual must be of sound mind and be able to make a rational, easily understood decision.’
    • ‘Baikie is now of the mind that his face doesn't seem to fit when it comes to senior sides entrusting their players to a coach with sound credentials.’
    • ‘It is hard to dispute that Britain would be exchanging a sound fiscal regime for a far inferior model in the event of having to sign up to the stability pact.’
    • ‘They feel that the books are to blame for unhinging his previously sound mind.’
    healthy, in good condition, toned, fit, physically fit, hale and hearty, in good shape, in fine fettle, in trim, disease-free, undamaged, uninjured, unimpaired
    well built, solid, well constructed, substantial, strong, sturdy, stout, durable, stable, intact, whole, undamaged, unimpaired
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Financially secure.
      ‘she could get her business on a sound footing for the first time’
      • ‘A successful economy and sound public finances are crucial for sustainable investment in public services.’
      • ‘Our future standard of living depends on our ability to return to a sound currency.’
      • ‘I don't regret having it, because it made me happy, but it certainly wasn't a very sound investment in financial terms.’
      • ‘If your finances are in a sound state, then you will survive any storms ahead.’
      • ‘While the men agree that a carbon tax would be one financially sound way to fight global warming, they disagree about how high the tax should be.’
      • ‘Last week the Laverton Trust Management Committee published a draft plan, which they say will put the hall on sound footing.’
      • ‘He stressed however, that the project needed to generate its own funds to remain on a sound financial footing.’
      • ‘Mary Doherty in her treasurer's report gave some heartening news as there was a sound credit balance.’
      • ‘I believe the president should focus on putting Social Security on a sound footing.’
      • ‘Investing in Forestry makes sound commercial sense and can be viewed as a hedge against inflation.’
      • ‘Investments must be in financially sound firms with highly liquid shares.’
      • ‘The club is in a sound position financially but we do need two or three players.’
      • ‘We think Zambians just have to come up with a new work culture and work hard especially on the land to put their economy on a sound footing.’
      • ‘And so, with only a few hours on the machine, this one was viewed as a sound investment.’
      • ‘This week he defended their record which had seen the club put on a sound financial footing.’
      • ‘Waverley is on a sound financial footing, and that is how we want to keep it.’
      • ‘It is hoped that the sponsored event will put the award scheme on a sound financial footing and help in a bid to secure official charitable status.’
      • ‘All small-scale soccer clubs run as much on sentiment than sound finance.’
      • ‘They have all consistently demonstrated high clinical standards, good leadership and sound finances.’
      • ‘Thus structured fiscal reforms are needed to put public finance back on a sound footing.’
    2. 1.2British informal Excellent.
      ‘He ate his lasagne with relish. ‘It's sound, this.’’
      • ‘It's really sound, too good to be true!’
      • ‘He's a sound bloke, solid, reliable and in short a diamond geezer.’
  • 2Based on valid reason or good judgement.

    ‘sound advice for healthy living’
    ‘the scientific content is sound’
    • ‘There are sound reasons for what the council suggests, as congestion and air quality are important issues.’
    • ‘They are based on sound research and real political alternatives.’
    • ‘Havant in the main were using kicks to gain ground, which given the ground conditions, was a sound ploy.’
    • ‘Her advice was freely given and was always based on common sense and sound reasoning.’
    • ‘But I at least try to think that there is a sound reason for making the design choices we do.’
    • ‘I think that the thrust of the piece is quite sound, and the piece is generally much worth reading.’
    • ‘Although this advice is based on a sound theory, there is no clinical evidence to support it.’
    • ‘He will be unable to formulate sound policy in this area until he can see what he has done wrong.’
    • ‘I felt we were well-informed and the points we made were based on sound logic.’
    • ‘The Department of Health insisted its decision was based on sound evidence and was designed to shake up existing provision.’
    • ‘Our simple submission is the majority in the Court of Appeal got it right for cogent and sound reasons.’
    • ‘They are a matter of faith and of national machismo, rather than being based on sound science or economics.’
    • ‘It also states ‘such an outcome will only be the result of a sound justification on the primary criteria’.’
    • ‘For longer than most of us know, man has always buried what has died, either for sound health reasons or as an act of respect for the fallen.’
    • ‘What is lacking is the will, the capacity to embrace change once the latter is based on a sound business plan.’
    • ‘Of course it took ages before the paper actually first hit the streets, but there are perhaps sound reasons for that.’
    • ‘Their influence has faded in the modern world, but the need for a sound base for moral judgments has not.’
    • ‘He had taken the car for the very sound, very logical reason that he wanted it.’
    • ‘It is a logically valid and empirically sound conclusion as our senses and mind are nowhere near perfect.’
    • ‘These sound words of advice are being given to those who believe in Allah and the Last Day.’
    well founded, well grounded, valid, reasonable, logical, solid, weighty, authoritative, convincing, cogent, plausible, credible, reliable
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Competent, reliable, or holding acceptable views.
      ‘he's very sound on his law’
      • ‘Curiously all the Lambeth residents I know think he's a sound bloke who has the right idea, and that's not just the smokers.’
      • ‘In short, I believe that a sound person should have the right to choose whether to live or die.’
      • ‘But what a hard lesson for the young Newbridge man who had played a very sound game up to this point.’
      • ‘The men in suits praise him for his sound knowledge of the game and his eye for talent; all the while overlooking his shortcomings.’
      • ‘Though limited by his size and skills, Hochstein is a sound technician with a great work ethic.’
      • ‘He's effective because he is technically sound and relentless when chasing the ball.’
      • ‘The works are sound and competent, physically big and large in their sense of the personal too.’
      • ‘The author of Glanvill clearly had a sound grounding in Roman law, though the book makes it clear that English law is by no means the same.’
      • ‘He took good care of his land and his livestock and was a sound judge of animals.’
      • ‘Bohn possesses one of the most fundamentally sound and fluid games in the world.’
      • ‘Steve was an absolute marvel to watch and a very sound bloke to listen to.’
      • ‘It now is commonly accepted that foreign players are more fundamentally sound than we are.’
      • ‘Paul's reference to Lois was within the context of sound Christian Living.’
      • ‘You have to be fundamentally sound and have a great game plan for every game over here.’
      • ‘We had an intelligent team, a very fundamentally sound team that worked together.’
      • ‘The best of them were sound judges of the quality, character and capability of their clients.’
      • ‘In this case I wouldn't say age really mattered because he's a sound guy and you can't help liking him.’
      • ‘A sound knowledge of the laws of tennis is a definite prerequisite for becoming a ball boy.’
      • ‘This social order is not only essential to the practice of every sound government: it has its origin in divine law.’
      • ‘Kathleen was a deeply spiritual person with a sound knowledge of theology and philosophy.’
  • 3(of sleep) deep and undisturbed.

    ‘a doze that deepened into a sound sleep’
    • ‘An insistent pounding in her head woke her from a very sound sleep.’
    • ‘This is the programme for anyone who has ever bemoaned a total lack of sleep, or simply wished for a sound night's slumber.’
    • ‘She often complains she is tired and just can't get a sound sleep like she used to when she first started out in her career.’
    • ‘I trudged into the depression and fell into a sound sleep as Billie stayed on guard.’
    • ‘Your dog will wake from a sound sleep and go to the door because he can tell you're wrapping up that phone call.’
    • ‘Seven months ago, Joe awoke from a sound sleep with an awful pain in his big toe.’
    • ‘Somewhere during this juggling of sober thoughts Stephen dropped off to a sound sleep.’
    • ‘Still in a fog after being awakened from a sound sleep, we suddenly were in the air.’
    • ‘A cup of chamomile tea at night is said to induce sound natural sleep and calm an overactive brain.’
    • ‘His eyes closed gently, as if he was in a sound sleep, his long eyelashes clinging to one another.’
    • ‘She was sitting bolt upright out of a sound sleep, clutching him around the neck.’
    • ‘Then I could so easily close my eyes to all that is happening around me and my family, roll over and fall into a deep sound sleep.’
    • ‘The moment we got to the hotel we threw ourselves onto bed for a sound sleep.’
    • ‘The effects are there for all to see: improved skin texture, vitality and sound sleep at night.’
    • ‘Anyway, I woke out of a sound sleep on Sunday morning with an extremely vivid dream.’
    • ‘Joshua stirred from his sound slumber, finding Bonnie just as close as he remembered.’
    • ‘I had a sound sleep on the plane and now I'm awake, all rejuvenated to resume work again.’
    • ‘The sound sleep that followed left me no time to repeat the enjoyment next morning before breakfast.’
    • ‘The baby could enjoy a sound sleep because noise was muffled by the sound-proofed walls.’
    • ‘A drop of lavender oil on your pillow will also help to promote sound natural sleep.’
    deep, undisturbed, unbroken, uninterrupted, untroubled, peaceful
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1(of a person) tending to sleep deeply.
      ‘I am a sound sleeper’
      • ‘I’ve always been a sound sleeper, but the condition is intensified by sleep deprivation.’
      • ‘An alarm clock to wake up any sound sleeper is available.’
      • ‘I knew it was loud and sounded awful, but at least my family members were sound sleepers.’
      • ‘She forgot that he was such a sound sleeper and there was no way that a knock would wake him up.’
      • ‘So if we take a look at the brain of an insomniac do we find anything different from the brain of a sound sleeper?’
  • 4(of a beating) severe.

    ‘such people should be given a sound thrashing’
    • ‘The first offenders were given a sound thrashing by the security guards.’
    • ‘When the Muslim boys heard him calling them names, all of them gave him a sound thrashing.’
    • ‘A man finds out his son is using heroin and decides to go punish the dealer with a sound beating.’
    • ‘Kids from the local village quickly got into the swing and gave the Brunei lads a sound thrashing.’
    • ‘In the grand scheme of things, a sound thrashing on a rugby field is not the be all and end all of everything.’
    • ‘He countered with a sound wallop to the back that swept the other man off his horse as he turned.’
    • ‘Scotland, for instance, gave them a sound beating in the autumn when they came up here.’
    • ‘I told him to buy some aloe vera and not to talk to strange men unless he wanted a sound thrashing.’
    • ‘The Pistons clearly are a shaken team unaccustomed to taking two sound beatings in a series.’
    • ‘Cora clenched her jaw as she mentally made a note to hire some guards to give Arlan a sound beating.’
    • ‘He was the one who led the other squires in their jeering taunts that had resulted in Rheyce's own sound thrashing.’
    • ‘Should I charge ahead at the very real risk of a sound thrashing at the hands of her family?’
    • ‘It is quite obvious that many of our youths today are deficient in proper values and sound discipline.’
    thorough, proper, real, regular, complete, total, veritable, without reserve, unqualified, out-and-out, thoroughgoing, downright, absolute, drastic, severe
    View synonyms

adverb

  • Soundly.

    ‘he was sound asleep’
    • ‘The very first night I was sound asleep and I woke to the sound of my dad laughing.’
    • ‘Every person in the village was sound asleep.’
    • ‘This evening I settled down happy as can be, turned on the TV, and within moments was sound asleep.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old English gesund, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch gezond and German gesund.

Pronunciation:

sound

/saʊnd/

Main definitions of sound in English

: sound1sound2sound3sound4

sound3

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Ascertain (the depth of water in the sea, a lake, or a river), typically by means of a line or pole or using sound echoes.

    ‘Mr Pattison was sounding the depth of the water with a pole’
    • ‘The first ship to sound at a greater depth than 5,000 fathoms was the British surveying vessel Penguin in 1895.’
    • ‘Attempts to sound depth acoustically instead focused on determining the exact distance of a sound source by measuring the time taken for a sound generated aboard a ship to travel to the sea bottom and back.’
    • ‘Then he bangs four more times, as if sounding the echoey depths of a hidden chamber.’
    measure, gauge, determine, test, investigate, survey, take a reading of, plumb, fathom, probe
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Find the depth of water in (a ship's hold).
  • 2Question (someone) discreetly or cautiously so as to ascertain their opinions on a subject.

    ‘we'll sound out parliament first’
    • ‘Whatmore read about Yze's eventual tally of 10 in the newspapers and sounded him out about his commitment to cricket.’
    • ‘‘I haven't made any decisions, but people purporting to represent certain clubs have sounded me out,’ he said.’
    • ‘The director had sounded me out about the project about a year before the film had got its backing.’
    • ‘According to highly unreliable sources, Mr Clinton had been sounded out earlier on this proposal but had demurred due to his busy schedule of engagements.’
    • ‘Sitting next to me was an older man who carefully began to sound me out.’
    • ‘But there are circumstances in which they do not have to go and people have been sounded out over Christmas.’
    • ‘Andrew Motion has been sounded out, but has declared himself uninterested at present while he remains Poet Laureate.’
    • ‘London correspondent Kerry Capell sounded him out on what the future holds.’
    • ‘A witness in the case, is accused of holding back information and failing to tell investigators he was sounded out by a fellow referee to help influence a match.’
    • ‘She was merely sounding him out to see if he was interested in her.’
    • ‘Even so there were rumours he might become governor of the BBC and he was sounded out to head up the proposed privatisation of the railways.’
    • ‘He flirted with Madonna, who invited him up to her Manhattan penthouse and sounded him out about marriage.’
    • ‘In early October, Pete McGrath confirmed that Dublin had sounded him out yet Bailey denied all knowledge of this.’
    • ‘He was sounded out about taking on the captaincy of Yorkshire as well as Middlesex and the MCC but by then he had settled in Australia.’
    • ‘Now Berwick is, thankfully, on the road to recovery, the Diary will approach the great man and sound him out.’
    • ‘He'd been talking to Jen and said she'd been sounding him out about my feelings for her.’
    • ‘They have been sounded but refused to step down from their respective offices.’
    • ‘I wondered aloud whether he had only got me on the show to sound me out to discover whether I had the same interest in equine abuses as him.’
    • ‘Promotion rivals Leigh have already sounded him out, but the Reds are not prepared to see the big three-quarter slip through their net.’
    • ‘All three wanted to sound Mitchell out about his thoughts on the leadership and the party generally.’
    canvass, test the opinions of, survey, poll, question, interview, sample
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Inquire into (someone's opinions) discreetly or cautiously.
      ‘officials arrived to sound out public opinion at meetings in factories’
      • ‘Sounding out the export market pays off for South Wales anti-noise specialist.’
      • ‘Some of the likely candidates did a phone-around of colleagues yesterday to sound out likely support.’
      • ‘Her communications director has been sounding out Jewish support for the potential candidate.’
      • ‘We held a public debate about it - to sound out the opinions and mood of the audience.’
      • ‘The management is sounding out options for the German retail bank and is not in a hurry to reach a decision.’
  • 3Medicine
    Examine (a person's bladder or other internal cavity) with a long surgical probe.

    • ‘The blue flange should be aligned with the IUD arms and set at the distance the uterus was sounded.’
    • ‘After successfully sounding the uterus, open the sterile package to reveal the shaft of the inserter.’
    • ‘Before sounding the uterus, the provider should already have screened the woman to rule out the possibility of vaginal or cervical infection.’
  • 4[no object] (especially of a whale) dive down steeply to a great depth.

    ‘he sounded, arching his back steeply and raising his rubbery flukes in the air’
    • ‘They came within about 20 feet of the rail, then, sounding, dove.’
    • ‘You may see a series of spouts just before the whale sounds.’
    • ‘Soon thereafter there will be the familiar flip of the tail as the whales "sound" or dive deep to the ocean's depths.’

noun

  • A long surgical probe, typically with a curved, blunt end.

    • ‘A uterine sound is described having a probe with measuring indicia inscribed thereon.’
    • ‘The lithotomy sound is a specialized metal probe to prove the presence of bladder stones.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French sonder, based on Latin sub- below + unda wave.

Pronunciation:

sound

/saʊnd/

Main definitions of sound in English

: sound1sound2sound3sound4

sound4

noun

  • 1A narrow stretch of water forming an inlet or connecting two wider areas of water such as two seas or a sea and a lake.

    • ‘They are common on the coast and in north Puget Sound, and are less common in the southern end of the sound.’
    • ‘Captains of foreign ships, and even those under U.S. registry, don't know the topography of the sound like an experienced local.’
    • ‘As I remember, there was a time that we started on Friday doing endless laps around the Sound.’
    channel, neck, narrows, waterway, stretch of water
    inlet, branch, fjord, creek, bay, voe
    estuary, firth
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1
      another name for Øresund

Origin

Middle English: from Old Norse sund swimming, strait; related to swim.

Pronunciation:

sound

/saʊnd/