Main definitions of sound in English

: sound1sound2sound3sound4

sound1

noun

mass 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’
    • ‘He travels 3,000 times the speed of sound without his reindeer vaporising?’
    • ‘He attempted to examine the vacuum which he was able to create and test whether sound travelled in a vacuum.’
    • ‘Bullets travel faster than sound, so I'll never hear the one that gets me, I reassured myself.’
    • ‘As a deaf musician Evelyn experiences sound through vibrations, although not, she says, specific notes.’
    • ‘Since light travels faster than sound, the thunder is heard after the lightning.’
    • ‘Its Japanese designers believe their plane can travel at twice the speed of sound while reducing supersonic boom to a low rumble.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Even when partitions are built to the ceiling, sound can still travel up to the deck and bounce down.’
    • ‘Minute differences in the timing and intensity of sound reaching each ear give the barn owl a fix on its prey.’
    • ‘There are two persons in a plane which is traveling at a speed greater than the speed of sound.’
    • ‘So if the airplane is travelling faster than the speed of sound, the air cannot move out of the way.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Lightning is seen first because sound travels slower than light.’
    • ‘Wu still remembers how she learned the principle that sound travels faster through iron than through air.’
    • ‘To get the right effect, rooms must have areas that absorb sound and reflect it.’
    • ‘It's helpful to imagine sound as waves travelling towards a beach.’
    • ‘The speed of sound is the speed at which pressure disturbances can be transmitted in a fluid such as air.’
    • ‘They make most of their calls at night, when it is cooler and sound travels farthest.’
    1. 1.1count noun A thing that can be heard.
      ‘she heard the sound of voices in the hall’
      ‘don't make a sound’
      • ‘He immediately grabbed it again, when we both heard the unmistakable sound of a shoe squeak.’
      • ‘The sound of distant ships' engines can be heard from a nearby river, which is dotted with swaying willows.’
      • ‘When he had gone to wait for me in the mine, he had heard a low rumbling sound.’
      • ‘Every few minutes a piercing ringing sound could be heard when the inspector examined each alarm.’
      • ‘After a while, the faint, almost inaudible but unmistakable sound of footsteps could be heard.’
      • ‘The sound reached a crescendo, then trailed off to the south in a quickly fading Doppler echo.’
      • ‘The sound of the celebrations reached them about halfway down the hill.’
      • ‘She listened to hear what she might, but the only sound was the steady clatter heard earlier.’
      • ‘She moved quietly around the camped and froze when she heard a loud rumbling sound.’
      • ‘The sound reached him seconds before he skidded around the corner and located her.’
      • ‘I let out a hideous animal sound as I sank to my knees to finish off this beast.’
      • ‘The endless sound echoed like thunderous footfalls, beating a tattoo on the inside of her skull.’
      • ‘From the door at the very end of the corridor I hear the all-too familiar sound of footsteps.’
      • ‘I heard the ugly sound of a lock click and that is when the stares and whisperings came.’
      • ‘The sound of giggling reached his ears, and Max swiveled his head to find the source.’
      • ‘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 familiar sound of the elevator reaching its designated floor made both women jump.’
      • ‘This sound reached to the edge of the forest and was like a great clamor of metals striking together.’
      • ‘Just as my eyelids drooped down, I heard a familiar mewing sound.’
      noise, note, din, racket, row, bang, report, hubbub, resonance, reverberation
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 The area or distance within which something can be heard.
      ‘we were always within sound of the train whistles’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Indeed, you can find some marvellous fishing within sight and sound of Copenhagen airport itself.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We have had a battle, and here I am still, within sound of the cannon!’
      • ‘Withers owns property within sound of that site.’
      hearing distance, hearing, distance, earshot, range
      View synonyms
  • 2Sound produced by continuous and regular vibrations, as opposed to noise.

    • ‘You not only get more music you get better sound, which means you get a different recording.’
    • ‘In the pashyanti stage sound possesses qualities such as color and form.’
    • ‘Gradually, from twin speakers, the room is showered with sound.’
    • ‘The sound is more resonant than I would like it to be, but this is not really a big problem.’
    • ‘Unamplified orchestral sound resonates distinctly around the hall, though far from brilliantly.’
    • ‘It is her blend of jazz, choral sounds and traditional African music that makes her the sensational jazz musician that she is.’
    • ‘The warm lyricism of the music unfurled anew in waves of lush orchestral sound.’
    • ‘Greater mobility does not at all guarantee a higher quality of sound.’
    • ‘The main difference between these formats is the quality of sound in relation to the size of the file.’
    • ‘Why does our premier music venue produce such a dreadful quality of sound?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We could kill with song and sound at distances they could not reach with any gun.’
    • ‘For him virtuosity per se is not so important as the quality and clarity of sound.’
    • ‘The speaker converts musical sound into vibrations that can be felt.’
    • ‘Music and sound are crucial elements in many of his works and he also works with texts’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Moving images and sound fill a room animating thought processes and daydreams.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 3Music, speech, and sound effects when recorded and used to accompany a film, video, or broadcast.

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

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

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

Phrasal Verbs

  • sound off

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

      ‘Pietro started sounding off to the press’
      • ‘The opposition are sounding off, but I guess by now they are in the habit of moaning about anything the government does.’
      • ‘Our very opinionated panel sounds off on the day's major stories.’
      • ‘At the same time she can generally shake off any criticism levelled at her for occasionally speaking out loud or just plain sounding off.’
      • ‘Is this just a personal pet peeve of yours, or are your constituents actually sounding off on the issue?’
      • ‘And it's all about how no-one takes any notice of him when he sounds off about crime and immigration.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But some dissidents were only interested in sounding off for the benefit of their constituents.’
      • ‘Our panel sounds off on the political news of the week.’
      • ‘It is a quasi-governmental body, not just some obscure think-tank sounding off.’
      • ‘He's sounding off about corporate scandals one moment, and his record collection the next.’
      speak at length, talk at length, speak, talk, go on, hold forth
      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’
    • ‘We could tune in and tune out, reassured that our American values were safe and sound.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Packaging is needed to ensure that a product is delivered to customers in a sound condition.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mr Welch said that the pumps appeared to be in sound condition.’
    • ‘Both the mother and babies are in sound condition, said doctors of a local hospital said Tuesday.’
    • ‘Being of more sound mind, I went for the halibut with vegetables.’
    • ‘A good result like this will, I'm sure, act as a sound platform for more strong challenges in the coming races.’
    • ‘He excels because of sound footwork, strong hands and an outstanding work ethic.’
    • ‘They feel that the books are to blame for unhinging his previously sound mind.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If a person is a liar, he is usually of sound mind and lies intentionally for certain benefits.’
    • ‘It is the only way they can maintain a sound mind in a life they dread.’
    • ‘Most are children and, fortunately, most turn up safe and sound within a few days.’
    • ‘Agriculture is the substructure for a sound food security, essential to economic development.’
    • ‘A second medical opinion is required, and the patient must be of sound mind.’
    • ‘Locke sighed in relief at knowing the girl was safe, sound and within his line of vision.’
    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. 1.1 Financially secure.
      ‘she could get her business on a sound footing for the first time’
      • ‘Investing in Forestry makes sound commercial sense and can be viewed as a hedge against inflation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And so, with only a few hours on the machine, this one was viewed as a sound investment.’
      • ‘I believe the president should focus on putting Social Security on a sound footing.’
      • ‘Investments must be in financially sound firms with highly liquid shares.’
      • ‘I don't regret having it, because it made me happy, but it certainly wasn't a very sound investment in financial terms.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A successful economy and sound public finances are crucial for sustainable investment in public services.’
      • ‘The club is in a sound position financially but we do need two or three players.’
      • ‘Waverley is on a sound financial footing, and that is how we want to keep it.’
      • ‘If your finances are in a sound state, then you will survive any storms ahead.’
      • ‘This week he defended their record which had seen the club put on a sound financial footing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Thus structured fiscal reforms are needed to put public finance back on a sound footing.’
      • ‘Our future standard of living depends on our ability to return to a sound currency.’
      • ‘Last week the Laverton Trust Management Committee published a draft plan, which they say will put the hall on sound footing.’
      solvent, able to pay its debts, debt-free, not in debt, out of debt, in the black, in funds, in credit, creditworthy, of good financial standing, solid, secure
      View synonyms
    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’
    • ‘What is lacking is the will, the capacity to embrace change once the latter is based on a sound business plan.’
    • ‘It is a logically valid and empirically sound conclusion as our senses and mind are nowhere near perfect.’
    • ‘He had taken the car for the very sound, very logical reason that he wanted it.’
    • ‘They are a matter of faith and of national machismo, rather than being based on sound science or economics.’
    • ‘They are based on sound research and real political alternatives.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These sound words of advice are being given to those who believe in Allah and the Last Day.’
    • ‘Their influence has faded in the modern world, but the need for a sound base for moral judgments has not.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Havant in the main were using kicks to gain ground, which given the ground conditions, was a sound ploy.’
    • ‘It also states ‘such an outcome will only be the result of a sound justification on the primary criteria’.’
    • ‘Her advice was freely given and was always based on common sense and sound reasoning.’
    • ‘There are sound reasons for what the council suggests, as congestion and air quality are important issues.’
    • ‘Of course it took ages before the paper actually first hit the streets, but there are perhaps sound reasons for that.’
    • ‘Although this advice is based on a sound theory, there is no clinical evidence to support it.’
    well founded, well grounded, valid, reasonable, logical, solid, weighty, authoritative, convincing, cogent, plausible, credible, reliable
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Competent, reliable, or holding acceptable views.
      ‘he's very sound on his law’
      • ‘The best of them were sound judges of the quality, character and capability of their clients.’
      • ‘Steve was an absolute marvel to watch and a very sound bloke to listen to.’
      • ‘Though limited by his size and skills, Hochstein is a sound technician with a great work ethic.’
      • ‘We had an intelligent team, a very fundamentally sound team that worked together.’
      • ‘He's effective because he is technically sound and relentless when chasing the ball.’
      • ‘Paul's reference to Lois was within the context of sound Christian Living.’
      • ‘Bohn possesses one of the most fundamentally sound and fluid games in the world.’
      • ‘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 this case I wouldn't say age really mattered because he's a sound guy and you can't help liking him.’
      • ‘It now is commonly accepted that foreign players are more fundamentally sound than we are.’
      • ‘The men in suits praise him for his sound knowledge of the game and his eye for talent; all the while overlooking his shortcomings.’
      • ‘You have to be fundamentally sound and have a great game plan for every game over here.’
      • ‘This social order is not only essential to the practice of every sound government: it has its origin in divine law.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Kathleen was a deeply spiritual person with a sound knowledge of theology and philosophy.’
      • ‘A sound knowledge of the laws of tennis is a definite prerequisite for becoming a ball boy.’
      • ‘He took good care of his land and his livestock and was a sound judge of animals.’
      reliable, dependable, trustworthy, fair
      View synonyms
  • 3(of sleep) deep and undisturbed.

    ‘a doze that deepened into a sound sleep’
    • ‘The moment we got to the hotel we threw ourselves onto bed for a sound sleep.’
    • ‘The sound sleep that followed left me no time to repeat the enjoyment next morning before breakfast.’
    • ‘A drop of lavender oil on your pillow will also help to promote sound natural sleep.’
    • ‘The effects are there for all to see: improved skin texture, vitality and sound sleep at night.’
    • ‘She was sitting bolt upright out of a sound sleep, clutching him around the neck.’
    • ‘Seven months ago, Joe awoke from a sound sleep with an awful pain in his big toe.’
    • ‘I had a sound sleep on the plane and now I'm awake, all rejuvenated to resume work again.’
    • ‘This is the programme for anyone who has ever bemoaned a total lack of sleep, or simply wished for a sound night's slumber.’
    • ‘Joshua stirred from his sound slumber, finding Bonnie just as close as he remembered.’
    • ‘Still in a fog after being awakened from a sound sleep, we suddenly were in the air.’
    • ‘Anyway, I woke out of a sound sleep on Sunday morning with an extremely vivid dream.’
    • ‘The baby could enjoy a sound sleep because noise was muffled by the sound-proofed walls.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Your dog will wake from a sound sleep and go to the door because he can tell you're wrapping up that phone call.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His eyes closed gently, as if he was in a sound sleep, his long eyelashes clinging to one another.’
    • ‘I trudged into the depression and fell into a sound sleep as Billie stayed on guard.’
    • ‘Somewhere during this juggling of sober thoughts Stephen dropped off to a sound sleep.’
    • ‘An insistent pounding in her head woke her from a very sound sleep.’
    • ‘A cup of chamomile tea at night is said to induce sound natural sleep and calm an overactive brain.’
    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.’
      • ‘So if we take a look at the brain of an insomniac do we find anything different from the brain of a sound sleeper?’
      • ‘An alarm clock to wake up any sound sleeper is available.’
      • ‘She forgot that he was such a sound sleeper and there was no way that a knock would wake him up.’
      • ‘I knew it was loud and sounded awful, but at least my family members were sound sleepers.’
  • 4(of a beating) severe.

    ‘such people should be given a sound thrashing’
    • ‘When the Muslim boys heard him calling them names, all of them gave him a sound thrashing.’
    • ‘I told him to buy some aloe vera and not to talk to strange men unless he wanted a sound thrashing.’
    • ‘He countered with a sound wallop to the back that swept the other man off his horse as he turned.’
    • ‘A man finds out his son is using heroin and decides to go punish the dealer with a sound beating.’
    • ‘It is quite obvious that many of our youths today are deficient in proper values and sound discipline.’
    • ‘Cora clenched her jaw as she mentally made a note to hire some guards to give Arlan a sound beating.’
    • ‘Should I charge ahead at the very real risk of a sound thrashing at the hands of her family?’
    • ‘The first offenders were given a sound thrashing by the security guards.’
    • ‘Scotland, for instance, gave them a sound beating in the autumn when they came up here.’
    • ‘Kids from the local village quickly got into the swing and gave the Brunei lads a sound thrashing.’
    • ‘The Pistons clearly are a shaken team unaccustomed to taking two sound beatings in a series.’
    • ‘In the grand scheme of things, a sound thrashing on a rugby field is not the be all and end all of everything.’
    • ‘He was the one who led the other squires in their jeering taunts that had resulted in Rheyce's own sound thrashing.’
    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.’
    • ‘This evening I settled down happy as can be, turned on the TV, and within moments was sound asleep.’
    • ‘Every person in the village 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The first ship to sound at a greater depth than 5,000 fathoms was the British surveying vessel Penguin in 1895.’
    • ‘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. 1.1 Find 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’
    • ‘He'd been talking to Jen and said she'd been sounding him out about my feelings for her.’
    • ‘All three wanted to sound Mitchell out about his thoughts on the leadership and the party generally.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Now Berwick is, thankfully, on the road to recovery, the Diary will approach the great man and sound him out.’
    • ‘They have been sounded but refused to step down from their respective offices.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She was merely sounding him out to see if he was interested in her.’
    • ‘The director had sounded me out about the project about a year before the film had got its backing.’
    • ‘‘I haven't made any decisions, but people purporting to represent certain clubs have sounded me out,’ he said.’
    • ‘London correspondent Kerry Capell sounded him out on what the future holds.’
    • ‘Promotion rivals Leigh have already sounded him out, but the Reds are not prepared to see the big three-quarter slip through their net.’
    • ‘Andrew Motion has been sounded out, but has declared himself uninterested at present while he remains Poet Laureate.’
    • ‘But there are circumstances in which they do not have to go and people have been sounded out over Christmas.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sitting next to me was an older man who carefully began to sound me out.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Whatmore read about Yze's eventual tally of 10 in the newspapers and sounded him out about his commitment to cricket.’
    canvass, test the opinions of, survey, poll, question, interview, sample
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Inquire 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.’
      • ‘We held a public debate about it - to sound out the opinions and mood of the audience.’
      • ‘Her communications director has been sounding out Jewish support for the potential candidate.’
      • ‘The management is sounding out options for the German retail bank and is not in a hurry to reach a decision.’
      investigate, test, check, examine, probe, carry out an investigation of, conduct a survey of, research, research into, carry out research into, explore, look into, canvass, elicit
      View synonyms
  • 3Medicine
    Examine (a person's bladder or other internal cavity) with a long surgical probe.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The blue flange should be aligned with the IUD arms and set at the distance the uterus was sounded.’
  • 4no 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’
    • ‘You may see a series of spouts just before the whale sounds.’
    • ‘They came within about 20 feet of the rail, then, sounding, dove.’
    • ‘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.

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

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.

    • ‘As I remember, there was a time that we started on Friday doing endless laps around 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.’
    • ‘They are common on the coast and in north Puget Sound, and are less common in the southern end of the sound.’
    channel, passage, sea passage, strait, straits, neck, narrows, waterway, stretch of water
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1
      another name for Øresund

Origin

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

Pronunciation

sound

/saʊnd/