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’
    • ‘It's helpful to imagine sound as waves travelling towards a beach.’
    • ‘Wu still remembers how she learned the principle that sound travels faster through iron than through air.’
    • ‘The speed of sound is the speed at which pressure disturbances can be transmitted in a fluid such as air.’
    • ‘Minute differences in the timing and intensity of sound reaching each ear give the barn owl a fix on its prey.’
    • ‘Its Japanese designers believe their plane can travel at twice the speed of sound while reducing supersonic boom to a low rumble.’
    • ‘The slate call has holes in the side of the pan to allow sound to travel 360 degrees.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There are two persons in a plane which is traveling at a speed greater than the speed of sound.’
    • ‘Lightning is seen first because sound travels slower than light.’
    • ‘Since light travels faster than sound, the thunder is heard after the lightning.’
    • ‘It was a still and humid afternoon, with only the distant drone of the traffic on the M4 to bring sound to the tableau.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He travels 3,000 times the speed of sound without his reindeer vaporising?’
    • ‘As a deaf musician Evelyn experiences sound through vibrations, although not, she says, specific notes.’
    • ‘They make most of their calls at night, when it is cooler and sound travels farthest.’
    • ‘So if the airplane is travelling faster than the speed of sound, the air cannot move out of the way.’
    • ‘To get the right effect, rooms must have areas that absorb sound and reflect it.’
    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’
      • ‘I heard the ugly sound of a lock click and that is when the stares and whisperings came.’
      • ‘He immediately grabbed it again, when we both heard the unmistakable sound of a shoe squeak.’
      • ‘This sound reached to the edge of the forest and was like a great clamor of metals striking together.’
      • ‘The sound of the celebrations reached them about halfway down the hill.’
      • ‘From the door at the very end of the corridor I hear the all-too familiar sound of footsteps.’
      • ‘The sound reached a crescendo, then trailed off to the south in a quickly fading Doppler echo.’
      • ‘The sound of distant ships' engines can be heard from a nearby river, which is dotted with swaying willows.’
      • ‘I let out a hideous animal sound as I sank to my knees to finish off this beast.’
      • ‘The steady beep of the heart monitor was the only sound to be heard coming from the dreary hospital room.’
      • ‘Just as my eyelids drooped down, I heard a familiar mewing sound.’
      • ‘She listened to hear what she might, but the only sound was the steady clatter heard earlier.’
      • ‘When he had gone to wait for me in the mine, he had heard a low rumbling sound.’
      • ‘The sound reached him seconds before he skidded around the corner and located her.’
      • ‘She moved quietly around the camped and froze when she heard a loud rumbling sound.’
      • ‘The familiar sound of the elevator reaching its designated floor made both women jump.’
      • ‘The shadow quickly disappeared and the faint sound of fleeing footsteps could be heard.’
      • ‘The sound of giggling reached his ears, and Max swiveled his head to find the source.’
      • ‘After a while, the faint, almost inaudible but unmistakable sound of footsteps could be heard.’
      • ‘Every few minutes a piercing ringing sound could be heard when the inspector examined each alarm.’
      • ‘The endless sound echoed like thunderous footfalls, beating a tattoo on the inside of her skull.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Indeed, you can find some marvellous fishing within sight and sound of Copenhagen airport itself.’
      • ‘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.

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

    [as modifier] ‘a sound studio’
    • ‘The installation also includes a video with sound showing images of the sewing group and their community.’
    • ‘The risers are rolled in; lights are fixed, sound is cued and video monitors are put in place.’
    • ‘Video and sound for the documentary are nothing to get excited about, but do the job.’
    • ‘The impressive nature of the graphics is only bolstered by the excellent sound found within the title.’
    • ‘In my opinion the main element letting the majority of films down is sound.’
    • ‘There's a lot of ambient sound in this film, and it's very well presented in both mixes.’
    • ‘In environments like sound recording studios, a machine like this one would be highly desirable.’
    • ‘By using little dialogue and less music, he lets the incidental sound support the film's atmosphere.’
    • ‘Director Ryan Redford skilfully employs music, sound and montage to create a taut film.’
    • ‘Modern versions of this kind of studio could allow various sound and video clips to be playlisted and cued in manually.’
    • ‘There Caoimhín focused on the technical side and developed skills in the areas of lighting and sound.’
    • ‘I then sat for two and half days behind a piano with good stuff to record sound.’
    • ‘It records target hits as fast as four shots per second with realistic sound.’
    • ‘Much like the video presentations, these sound mixes are all in good working order.’
    • ‘It's the first hint of the superb use of sound in this film, both ambient and on the soundtrack.’
    • ‘The seven-inch screen can show videos with sound because speakers are also included in the pack.’
    • ‘People were less satisfied with poor quality images and poor quality sound.’
    • ‘Great video and sound and tons of trailers might make up for a too short running time.’
    • ‘She did all the scriptwriting, filming, sound, lighting, direction herself.’
    • ‘The film was shot without sound, and recorded interviews were added to accompany images of the women at work.’
    1. 3.1 Broadcasting by radio as distinct from television.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The fidelity of sound equipment subsequently improved considerably, but the receivers did not.’
      • ‘The accent at the BBC at the time was very much toward sound rather than television.’
    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’
      • ‘Everything's in place here, but they could stand to find a more distinctive sound vocally.’
      • ‘Their music has a very distinctive and fresh sound, hardcore but very melodic and experimental.’
      • ‘The distinctive Jamaican sound of reggae provides a template for various diasporic musics in the Caribbean.’
      • ‘Experts said the new instruments have the same sound as those made of snake skin.’
      • ‘Much of the band's sound is identified by Chris' voice.’
      • ‘The bass guitar sound was typical for the era - round & fluid & effortless.’
      • ‘The band have spent the last few months working on new material and developing their very unique sound.’
      • ‘Their music, while possessing an undeniably indie guitar sound, is just as quirky as the band seems to be.’
      • ‘The blaring sound of Spanish music twirled round in my head, and the brightly coloured morning sun shone through my closed eyes.’
      • ‘The sound of Spanish guitars has often been the source of irritation for me.’
      • ‘By swapping guitars for spoons, the band's sound is basic yet shiny.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Their signature double guitar lead sound has influenced countless bands beyond the rock genre.’
      • ‘Anyway, quite a few people have told me they like the guitar sound on it.’
      • ‘But you know, if you listen to earlier records, the bass drum sounds weren't that great.’
      • ‘Musically I guess the move played a part in developing my own sound by expanding my range of influences.’
      • ‘Their instrumental rock sound with quiet and loud dynamics evokes a certain calmness over the listener.’
      • ‘We were always searching for the best bass drum sound.’
      • ‘Here are men who created a signature sound, something instantly recognizable and never duplicated.’
      music, tones, note, chord
      View synonyms
    3. 3.3soundsinformal Popular music:
      ‘sounds of the Sixties’
      • ‘This is a gem of a song that can make anyone jump up and shake it to the sounds of new-wave "rebel rock."’
      • ‘When it comes to the traditional sounds of country music, Johnny Loughrey continues to set the pace.’
      • ‘Such sonic mayhem envisioned the sounds of madness, neurosis, and warped wit.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘While the sound of the words was actually a bit creepy, she was glad to know the ship was still responsive.’
    • ‘The recording process for Miles is an easy-going, relaxed one 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.’
    • ‘Dad and Maude were having an argument but by the sound of it not about anything too serious.’
    • ‘I use to play a lot of computer games, and not very good ones 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some of the children were naturally very frightened and the teacher by the sound of it did an amazing job.’
    • ‘By the sound of it, Hylands will be drowning in paperwork for the next two years.’
    • ‘The other, who had no experience of the trade but liked the sound of the idea, agreed.’
    • ‘The sound of those words chilled us both, as if suddenly the night fog had draped over the two of us without warning.’
    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’
    • ‘Pulling the car to a stop just outside a well-lit house with music sounding from inside, Jesse grinned.’
    • ‘Suddenly there was a loud snap, which sounded through the basement, and Lizzie had stopped screaming.’
    • ‘Late that evening, the doorbell's chime sounded throughout the still house.’
    • ‘They heard an alarm sounding off in the distance and knew they did not have much time.’
    • ‘From the edge of the field, the horns sounded a harsh blast.’
    • ‘A sweet-sounding horn sounded outside of the Velnaut residence.’
    • ‘They knew that somewhere in the house alarms sounded so they kept moving.’
    • ‘An alarm sounded, warning screens blinked and to Petrov's horror a computer map showed the hostile launch of a US nuclear warhead.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In my mind I am praying, praying for the next buzzer to sound so I can escape the woman's bitter stare.’
    • ‘All I could do was watch it go, sirens still sounding in the background.’
    • ‘If something - or someone - in the water interrupts the beam, an alarm sounds in the house.’
    • ‘It was unguarded but had a large sign warning that alarms would sound when it opened.’
    • ‘Just as Jon reached for the handle, the buzzer behind them sounded.’
    • ‘A shrill ring sounded in her house, and caused her to stop dead in her tracks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At 8: 30, as I peacefully dreamed of building and living in a tree house, the intercom sounded.’
    • ‘‘Here we go,’ he whispered as a buzz was sounded and the ride began to spin and turn.’
    • ‘The warning bell had sounded a minute ago.’
    operate, set off
    resonate, resound, reverberate, blow, blare
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with 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.’
      • ‘Each stanza is separated by an interlude for the horn, which sounds a deathly fanfare for the wounded and dying of Sitwell's poem.’
      • ‘No bells or horns or trumpets sounded the warning of our arrival.’
      • ‘If your smoke alarm is sounding nuisance alarms, it may need dusting or vacuuming.’
      • ‘One of Yorkshire's leading manufacturing spokesmen has sounded a warning note on employment relations activity for the New Year.’
      • ‘One email sounded a warning note.’
      • ‘Before he could find one a horn blew somewhere sounding the approach of dawn.’
      • ‘The huntsman's horn sounded the final knell when the last traditional hunt by the Tedworth came to en end.’
      • ‘A further warning note was sounded by Damian Hopley, chief executive of the Professional Rugby Players' Association.’
      • ‘The bell rang, which sounded the start for the day's schooling.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Abyssinian crisis of 1935 sounded the first alarm bells.’
      • ‘The car's horn honked a few times, seemingly sounding a cavalry call.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A motorist used her horn to sound the alarm and another tried to block the path of the other car as it sped off.’
      • ‘Housing association chiefs have sounded a warning shot after evicting their first tenant in York for antisocial behaviour.’
      • ‘No alarm was sounded at the hospital to indicate any emergency.’
      • ‘The bell rang loudly, sounding the beginning of the first period, geography class.’
      • ‘The air horn sounds a blast that can be heard over the roar of aircraft engines.’
      • ‘Should that not have sounded the warning bells?’
      ring, peal, toll
      strike
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2[with object] Express or convey (a warning):
      ‘pharmaceutical companies are sounding the alarm about counterfeit drugs’
      • ‘City Councilman Frank Rizzo sounds a more nostalgic note on the way to suggesting his own candidacy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On all current form it should be another home win, but I say that sounding a very definite note of warning.’
      • ‘Reynaud succeeded him, sounding a more resolute note, but his cabinet was as divided as Daladier's - and Daladier remained as minister of war.’
      • ‘But he sounded a ‘note of caution’ on plans to extend the powers of community safety officers.’
      • ‘England and Wales are at the heart of this drive so let's sound a word of warning for them.’
      • ‘Most reports of the now public autopsy results sound a strangely triumphal note.’
      • ‘However, Mr Barry sounded a warning note about risks to water everywhere as the silage-cutting season moves into top gear.’
      • ‘But this week a panel of wildlife biologists and conservation advocates sounded a more positive note.’
      • ‘Here, though, a cautionary note may be sounded.’
      • ‘Frank Williams sounds a very different note.’
    3. 1.3[with object] Pronounce:
      ‘sound the rhymes clearly’
      • ‘The student should sound out the long /e/ sound.’
      • ‘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.’
      pronounce, verbalize, voice, enunciate, articulate, vocalize, say
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4[with 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.’
  • 2[no object] Convey a specified impression when heard:

    [with complement] ‘he sounded worried’
    • ‘Confidence had never been one of her strong points; and now, though she sang louder, she still sounded meek and frightened.’
    • ‘I had some difficulty deciding on a starter as they all sounded so tempting.’
    • ‘My heart sank when I heard how happy she sounded.’
    • ‘She could hardly hear what they were saying but one voice sounded vaguely familiar.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It came again, sounding louder and more desperate.’
    • ‘But after a while it sounded familiar; I heard things in the score I'd heard elsewhere.’
    • ‘Dirt and rock scraped beneath Lior's red boots, sounding far too loud and out of place in the silent city.’
    • ‘I record phrases that I use often and playback to hear how I may sound to others when I say them.’
    • ‘The laughter wasn't very loud, it sounded normal, unlike the laughter of a madman, or a drunken pirate.’
    • ‘A cheerful guffaw that would have sounded ridiculous coming from anyone else emitted from his mouth.’
    • ‘‘Fatty,’ comes her whisper, sounding unnaturally loud in this awful room.’
    • ‘This time she said it louder, sounding genuinely confused.’
    • ‘I thought entirely out loud and probably sounded quite crazy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Well, I think it was overdubbed, so I don't think we heard how she really sounded.’
    • ‘She didn't sound that pleased to hear from him.’
    • ‘Alex had cried, sounding twice as loud in the cave.’
    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’
      • ‘Her name sounded so lovely, so sweet, as it was carried on the wind by his voice.’
      • ‘Even the house sparrow's song sounded harsh and sinister on the day.’
      • ‘The woman on the airport intercom sounds lovely and understanding.’
      • ‘Here, virtuoso Jacques Zoon makes Mozart's music sound as fresh and warm as a doe sipping from a clear mountain spring.’
      • ‘Production values are up to snuff; this DVD both looks and sounds good.’
      • ‘Though it does sound like fun if I ever did have to.’
      • ‘You can track your book's progress around the world, and it all sounds very lovely and whimsical.’
      • ‘And while the plot makes the film sound like a campy thriller, it never falls into that trap.’
      • ‘This synopsis makes the film sound like a depressing cautionary tale but it isn't.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Is it me, or does the name of this blog sound very familiar?’
      • ‘From a distance it does sound like a real crying baby and it has a chip inside so it monitors its surroundings.’
      • ‘The waves of pain blinded him, and made the noises of the day sound far away.’
      • ‘The Beethoven sonatas, recorded two years later in Munich, sound considerably better.’
      • ‘As daunting as that may all sound, you'd be amazed at how little the areas can matter.’
      • ‘The poets all read in their native language, so we didn't understand anything they were saying, though it still sounded lovely.’
      • ‘In fact, the way you've phrased your description of her behavior sounds like you want to be released.’
      • ‘The advance copy of the record sounds lovely, but the fact there is a record out is more important than the record itself.’
      • ‘But these contradictions make the film sound more lively and daring than it actually is.’
      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’
      • ‘Our very opinionated panel sounds off on the day's major stories.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is a quasi-governmental body, not just some obscure think-tank sounding off.’
      • ‘Is this just a personal pet peeve of yours, or are your constituents actually sounding off on the issue?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The opposition are sounding off, but I guess by now they are in the habit of moaning about anything the government does.’
      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’
    • ‘Most are children and, fortunately, most turn up safe and sound within a few days.’
    • ‘The true, strong and sound mind is the mind that can embrace equally great things and small.’
    • ‘We could tune in and tune out, reassured that our American values were safe and sound.’
    • ‘Mr Welch said that the pumps appeared to be in sound condition.’
    • ‘He excels because of sound footwork, strong hands and an outstanding work ethic.’
    • ‘Being of more sound mind, I went for the halibut with vegetables.’
    • ‘Packaging is needed to ensure that a product is delivered to customers in a sound condition.’
    • ‘A good result like this will, I'm sure, act as a sound platform for more strong challenges in the coming races.’
    • ‘Firstly, the individual must be of sound mind and be able to make a rational, easily understood decision.’
    • ‘Agriculture is the substructure for a sound food security, essential to economic development.’
    • ‘They are amazed that people, otherwise of sound mind, are addicted to it.’
    • ‘If a person is a liar, he is usually of sound mind and lies intentionally for certain benefits.’
    • ‘A second medical opinion is required, and the patient must be of 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Locke sighed in relief at knowing the girl was safe, sound and within his line of vision.’
    • ‘It is the only way they can maintain a sound mind in a life they dread.’
    • ‘They feel that the books are to blame for unhinging his previously sound mind.’
    • ‘Both the mother and babies are in sound condition, said doctors of a local hospital said Tuesday.’
    • ‘So I think the most important thing to do is to get a good sound medical and psychiatric diagnosis.’
    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’
      • ‘Last week the Laverton Trust Management Committee published a draft plan, which they say will put the hall on sound footing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mary Doherty in her treasurer's report gave some heartening news as there was a sound credit balance.’
      • ‘If your finances are in a sound state, then you will survive any storms ahead.’
      • ‘Investments must be in financially sound firms with highly liquid shares.’
      • ‘All small-scale soccer clubs run as much on sentiment than sound finance.’
      • ‘And so, with only a few hours on the machine, this one was viewed as a sound investment.’
      • ‘A successful economy and sound public finances are crucial for sustainable investment in public services.’
      • ‘I believe the president should focus on putting Social Security on a sound footing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He stressed however, that the project needed to generate its own funds to remain on a sound financial footing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They have all consistently demonstrated high clinical standards, good leadership and sound finances.’
      • ‘Investing in Forestry makes sound commercial sense and can be viewed as a hedge against inflation.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
    • ‘The Department of Health insisted its decision was based on sound evidence and was designed to shake up existing provision.’
    • ‘I felt we were well-informed and the points we made were based on sound logic.’
    • ‘He had taken the car for the very sound, very logical reason that he wanted it.’
    • ‘Her advice was freely given and was always based on common sense and sound reasoning.’
    • ‘They are a matter of faith and of national machismo, rather than being based on sound science or economics.’
    • ‘Of course it took ages before the paper actually first hit the streets, but there are perhaps sound reasons for that.’
    • ‘It is a logically valid and empirically sound conclusion as our senses and mind are nowhere near perfect.’
    • ‘There are sound reasons for what the council suggests, as congestion and air quality are important issues.’
    • ‘Our simple submission is the majority in the Court of Appeal got it right for cogent and sound reasons.’
    • ‘Their influence has faded in the modern world, but the need for a sound base for moral judgments has not.’
    • ‘They are based on sound research and real political alternatives.’
    • ‘What is lacking is the will, the capacity to embrace change once the latter is based on a sound business plan.’
    • ‘I think that the thrust of the piece is quite sound, and the piece is generally much worth reading.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He will be unable to formulate sound policy in this area until he can see what he has done wrong.’
    • ‘Havant in the main were using kicks to gain ground, which given the ground conditions, was a sound ploy.’
    • ‘Although this advice is based on a sound theory, there is no clinical evidence to support it.’
    • ‘But I at least try to think that there is a sound reason for making the design choices we do.’
    • ‘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. 2.1 Competent, reliable, or holding acceptable views:
      ‘he's very sound on his law’
      • ‘Bohn possesses one of the most fundamentally sound and fluid games in the world.’
      • ‘The men in suits praise him for his sound knowledge of the game and his eye for talent; all the while overlooking his shortcomings.’
      • ‘In short, I believe that a sound person should have the right to choose whether to live or die.’
      • ‘This social order is not only essential to the practice of every sound government: it has its origin in divine law.’
      • ‘We had an intelligent team, a very fundamentally sound team that worked together.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But what a hard lesson for the young Newbridge man who had played a very sound game up to this point.’
      • ‘You have to be fundamentally sound and have a great game plan for every game over here.’
      • ‘The best of them were sound judges of the quality, character and capability of their clients.’
      • ‘He's effective because he is technically sound and relentless when chasing the ball.’
      • ‘A sound knowledge of the laws of tennis is a definite prerequisite for becoming a ball boy.’
      • ‘Steve was an absolute marvel to watch and a very sound bloke to listen to.’
      • ‘In this case I wouldn't say age really mattered because he's a sound guy and you can't help liking him.’
      • ‘Kathleen was a deeply spiritual person with a sound knowledge of theology and philosophy.’
      • ‘Paul's reference to Lois was within the context of sound Christian Living.’
      • ‘Though limited by his size and skills, Hochstein is a sound technician with a great work ethic.’
      • ‘The works are sound and competent, physically big and large in their sense of the personal too.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It now is commonly accepted that foreign players are more fundamentally sound than we are.’
      reliable, dependable, trustworthy, fair
      View synonyms
  • 3(of sleep) deep and undisturbed:

    ‘a doze that deepened into a sound sleep’
    • ‘She was sitting bolt upright out of a sound sleep, clutching him around the neck.’
    • ‘Anyway, I woke out of a sound sleep on Sunday morning with an extremely vivid dream.’
    • ‘Somewhere during this juggling of sober thoughts Stephen dropped off to a sound sleep.’
    • ‘I trudged into the depression and fell into a sound sleep as Billie stayed on guard.’
    • ‘The baby could enjoy a sound sleep because noise was muffled by the sound-proofed walls.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The sound sleep that followed left me no time to repeat the enjoyment next morning before breakfast.’
    • ‘The effects are there for all to see: improved skin texture, vitality and sound sleep at night.’
    • ‘A cup of chamomile tea at night is said to induce sound natural sleep and calm an overactive brain.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Still in a fog after being awakened from a sound sleep, we suddenly were in the air.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Joshua stirred from his sound slumber, finding Bonnie just as close as he remembered.’
    • ‘Seven months ago, Joe awoke from a sound sleep with an awful pain in his big toe.’
    • ‘A drop of lavender oil on your pillow will also help to promote sound natural sleep.’
    • ‘I had a sound sleep on the plane and now I'm awake, all rejuvenated to resume work again.’
    • ‘His eyes closed gently, as if he was in a sound sleep, his long eyelashes clinging to one another.’
    • ‘Your dog will wake from a sound sleep and go to the door because he can tell you're wrapping up that phone call.’
    • ‘The moment we got to the hotel we threw ourselves onto bed for a sound sleep.’
    deep, undisturbed, unbroken, uninterrupted, untroubled, peaceful
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 (of a person) tending to sleep deeply:
      ‘I am a sound sleeper’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I’ve always been a sound sleeper, but the condition is intensified by sleep deprivation.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Pistons clearly are a shaken team unaccustomed to taking two sound beatings in a series.’
    • ‘He was the one who led the other squires in their jeering taunts that had resulted in Rheyce's own sound thrashing.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘He countered with a sound wallop to the back that swept the other man off his horse as he turned.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
    • ‘Every person in the village 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.’

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’
    • ‘The director had sounded me out about the project about a year before the film had got its backing.’
    • ‘She was merely sounding him out to see if he was interested in her.’
    • ‘Whatmore read about Yze's eventual tally of 10 in the newspapers and sounded him out about his commitment to cricket.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He flirted with Madonna, who invited him up to her Manhattan penthouse and sounded him out about marriage.’
    • ‘Andrew Motion has been sounded out, but has declared himself uninterested at present while he remains Poet Laureate.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But there are circumstances in which they do not have to go and people have been sounded out over Christmas.’
    • ‘They have been sounded but refused to step down from their respective offices.’
    • ‘London correspondent Kerry Capell sounded him out on what the future holds.’
    • ‘Now Berwick is, thankfully, on the road to recovery, the Diary will approach the great man and sound him out.’
    • ‘‘I haven't made any decisions, but people purporting to represent certain clubs have sounded me out,’ he said.’
    • ‘He'd been talking to Jen and said she'd been sounding him out about my feelings for her.’
    • ‘Promotion rivals Leigh have already sounded him out, but the Reds are not prepared to see the big three-quarter slip through their net.’
    • ‘Sitting next to me was an older man who carefully began to sound me out.’
    • ‘All three wanted to sound Mitchell out about his thoughts on the leadership and the party generally.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘We held a public debate about it - to sound out the opinions and mood of the audience.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Sounding out the export market pays off for South Wales anti-noise specialist.’
      • ‘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.

    • ‘Before sounding the uterus, the provider should already have screened the woman to rule out the possibility of vaginal or cervical infection.’
    • ‘After successfully sounding the uterus, open the sterile package to reveal the shaft of the inserter.’
    • ‘The blue flange should be aligned with the IUD arms and set at the distance the uterus was sounded.’
  • 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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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/