Definition of murmuring in US English:



  • 1A soft, low, or indistinct sound produced by a person or group of people speaking quietly or at a distance.

    • ‘I don't know if Tony and Casey spoke but I did hear some murmuring before I fell asleep.’
    • ‘I can't hear a word clearly, can such murmuring be called a song?’
    • ‘Instead of using music, the scenes are accompanied by real sound: incomprehensible murmuring, shouts and cries.’
    • ‘She saw their lips move, and their gestures, and blurred details in their faces, but only faint murmuring of their low voices.’
    • ‘Sounds of socializing: laughter and murmuring drifted up from downstairs.’
    • ‘The murmuring, fluttering sounds of the crowd echoed off the high ceilings and stone arches of the chapel.’
    • ‘Some murmuring continued, wondering the wisdom of bringing up the delicate issue so early.’
    • ‘I heard soft murmuring and Viktor spat into the basin, wiping away the blood from his lips.’
    • ‘The director has over-dubbed the entire soundtrack and the dialogue is a studio-based whispery murmuring.’
    • ‘Amid the low, astonished murmuring of the crowd she stepped forwards to face him.’
    • ‘Faint murmuring was heard and the smell of blood hung in the air.’
    • ‘Only slight murmuring could be heard from the spectators.’
    • ‘From behind the door, could be heard the soft murmuring of voices.’
    • ‘He pushed it and as he did, the murmuring stopped, the sound of chatter around him came to a dead silence.’
    • ‘He couldn't see anything, only heard the distant murmuring of the other people in the room.’
    • ‘The smell of smoke and burning paper hits me first, and then I can hear Bren's pleased murmuring.’
    • ‘I heard curses and a lot of murmuring from the other end.’
    • ‘As soon as Rolan nodded a yes, Mrs. Snow dashed into an adjoining room; the cries ceased and soft murmuring could be heard.’
    reverberation, resonance, throbbing, throb, vibrating, pulsation, pulsing, rumbling, rumble, beating, beat, drumming, drum, thumping, thump, thrumming, thrum, pounding, pound, palpitating, palpitation
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    1. 1.1usually murmurings A subdued or private expression of discontent or dissatisfaction.
      ‘murmurings of discontent from the fans’
      • ‘During the week there had been murmurings of discontent from some quarters.’
      • ‘The crowd grumbled, but oblivious to their disgruntled murmurings, Yahja hugged Yeshuah.’
      • ‘There has been an undercurrent of murmuring in some areas along the lines of ‘who'd have thought that he could do that, being blind and everything’.’
      • ‘Before the end of the year there was a lot of murmuring about the holiday shopping season being subpar.’
      • ‘Despite that awkward start with its murmurings of discontent, accompanied by a sharp sense of Namibian humour about some of the recycled ministers, Namibians continued to have, and demonstrate, faith in their new President.’
      • ‘Privately, I've heard quite a bit of murmuring and muttering about the way this affects the day-to-day running of the club.’
      • ‘There have been dark murmurings that all this is an ego-trip.’
      • ‘This prompted some murmurings of agreement but also hostility from several people.’
      • ‘Wilde survived his first trial with a hung jury, but, amid much murmuring amongst those in high places was convicted in his second trial.’
      • ‘Admittedly, not everyone approved of the choice of act and there some murmurings of discontent and certainly a fair degree of surprise.’
      • ‘When his bronze statue was erected, there were dark murmurings about why the great man had been planted with his back to the sea, a singularly inappropriate position for a noble Hawaiian waterman?’
      • ‘Its long overdue, and there have been more than enough murmurings - among the vendors, analysts, and users - to justify such an activity.’
      • ‘Although the package was approved by the authority, there were still murmurings of discontent among union officials.’
      • ‘I'd be deluding myself if I said that there were no bad points, but at least with these organisations there were never any murmurings about alleged corruption or being self serving.’
      • ‘The move has provoked public outcry from bar owners and thousands of waiters, dancers and bar girls, as well as disgruntled murmurings from late-night boozers.’
      protesting, protestation, objection, exception, grievance, grumbling, carping, whining, moaning, muttering
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    2. 1.2usually murmurings An insinuation.
      ‘his father's life had been ruined by the murmurings and innuendoes of lesser men’
    3. 1.3 A low continuous sound.
      ‘the murmuring of the wind’
      • ‘To the contrary I'm enjoying my freedom to sit quietly, in a world where the only external sounds are the night birds and the murmuring of the tree tops.’
      • ‘A forest of masts from the boats that were still in the breakwater stood out against the night sky, and underlying everything was the steady murmuring of the sea and the groaning of the boats' timbers.’
      • ‘He touched a button and I could hear the faint murmuring of an audio track.’
      • ‘Although the empty buildings on the now derelict structure are silent by day, they come noisily alive on winter nights with the chirps, whistles, and varied murmurings of starlings - tens of thousands of them.’
      • ‘In the rare moments when brass and percussion are silent, the soft murmuring of pigeons will be heard.’
      • ‘When the wind blows they thrash the air; even when there is no wind they still move, filled with leafy murmurings.’