Definition of Dolby in US English:



  • 1An electronic noise-reduction system used in tape recording to reduce hiss.

    • ‘His first product from this new and innovative company was identified as Dolby A-type Enoise reduction.’
    • ‘The Dolby stereo sound is adequate, with no detectable hissing or distortion.’
    • ‘It is Dolby mono, there is little hiss and dialogue comes in clear for the most part.’
    • ‘The final stage in the process of creating a musical score is to get it ready for the cinema, and that requires the Dolby noise reduction sound system.’
    • ‘The audio presentation is in the original Dolby mono, clean and relatively free of hiss.’
    1. 1.1 An electronic system used to provide stereophonic sound for movie theaters and television sets.
      • ‘And they can hear it in full stereo sound… even Dolby surround sound if you want.’
      • ‘When Dolby surround sound first hit the scene he had to go out and get his own personal cinema surround sound gismo and set it up in the living-room.’
      • ‘The sound mix is Dolby 5.1, but since the film is a drama, there isn't much opportunity to use the surround stages.’
      • ‘High definition television enables you to enjoy Dolby digital surround sound.’
      • ‘The disc also has Dolby Surround Sound tracks in French and Spanish.’


1960s: named after Ray M. Dolby (1933–2013), the American engineer who devised it.