Definition of sonorous in US English:



  • 1(of a person's voice or other sound) imposingly deep and full.

    • ‘The sonorous sounds of the synthesizer and guitar soon take over.’
    • ‘Perhaps if the cast had stronger personalities and more sonorous voices, the production would have a less half-hearted effect.’
    • ‘The rich sonorous voice came from behind and above Sean.’
    • ‘While his sonorous voice was a little daunting, it was counteracted by his articulate nature and respectful manner.’
    • ‘Possessing a sonorous and easy-to-listen-to voice, the recordings would be a good starting point for anyone interested in exploring different spiritual outlooks from around the globe.’
    • ‘The great surprise is that out of this slim body, a sonorous, powerful voice emanates vibrating with a immense nuances of expression.’
    • ‘What else can one expect with the rhythmic beats, sonorous sounds and the passion that emanated as they went about weaving magic ecstatically on their instruments.’
    • ‘When you respond to their outrageous demands, speak in the quiet and sonorous voice of reason.’
    • ‘The Chesterfield Kings he smoked made his voice sonorous and his throat clearing a bronchial event.’
    • ‘Music was an abiding interest and he had a fine singing as well as a sonorous speaking voice.’
    • ‘That, of course, was the sonorous voice of Helen Thomas.’
    • ‘Gifted with a remarkably deep and sonorous voice, Rashid Khan has excelled in almost all facets of singing.’
    • ‘Most radio folk have beautiful, sonorous voices that make actually seeing them quite a letdown.’
    • ‘‘I wanted to be a politician,’ he says in that voice, sonorous, well-tempered, deceptively weary, every syllable pronounced for maximum just-so.’
    • ‘The tall, square-jawed actor with a deep, sonorous voice made more than 50 films in a career spanning six decades.’
    • ‘The boom of the bell and the drum calling everyone to pray at 4.30 in the morning had a powerful sonorous sound with an eerie mystical feel that was palpable, not imagined.’
    • ‘Peter Sculthorpe loves the cello's full, sonorous timbre and this recording strikingly demonstrates his expert use of it.’
    • ‘A man of sonorous voice seems to be ruminating on the nature of beauty.’
    • ‘His voice used to be sonorous, melodious, and relaxing to her most of the time, but lately, he nearly always sounded impatient, stressed, or angry.’
    • ‘The chimes were also brought onto the altar at Christmas only, to replace the rather sonorous sound of the gong.’
    resonant, rich, deep, full-bodied, vibrant, fruity, clear, loud, strong
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Capable of producing a deep or ringing sound.
      ‘the alloy is sonorous and useful in making bells’
      • ‘Rich, warm string tone, sweet, elegant winds, and mellow, sonorous brass are the hallmarks of the ‘Saxony sound’.’
      resonant, rich, full, round, ringing, booming, vibrant, deep, clear, mellow, mellifluous, melodious, full-toned, orotund, full-bodied, fruity, strong, resounding, reverberating, reverberant, vibrating, pulsating
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (of a speech or style) using imposing language.
      ‘they had expected the lawyers to deliver sonorous lamentations’
      • ‘The programme strained to be fair - and managed some intelligence and sonorous dialogue.’
      • ‘What it is doing is trying to hitchhike on those sonorous words that bring tears to the eyes of mothers every weekend.’
      • ‘In the sonorous words of Schiller: ‘The temples remained sacred to the eye of the beholder long after their Gods had become figures of fun.’’
      • ‘It can be summed up in the six sonorous words he himself wrote and which will be his epitaph: ‘There shall be a Scottish parliament.’’
      • ‘Yet within a few short months, he was regarded by the press and the public as irreplaceable, the man who with a few choice words and sonorous phrases could transform the mood of an entire country and galvanise it to victory.’
      • ‘This phraseology is grandiose, rotund and sonorous, but signifies a fatal weakness in Walcott's approach to both Brand and Philip.’
      • ‘Dewar, who came to embody the thrifty character of the nation, had a vision which is encapsulated in those first six sonorous words.’
      • ‘The Pindaric ode - which is typically passionate, visionary, and sonorous - is modelled on the lyrics of Pindar.’
      • ‘Redmayne's costume (an elegant gown with a high, beehive hairdo) gave him an aristocratic deportment which he emphasised with graceful movements and slow, sonorous speech.’
      • ‘Audiences may not always understand what doors King is trying to open, but they do respond to his sonorous language.’
      • ‘He's developed a visceral revulsion toward his fellow humans, a profoundly misanthropic impulse that he dresses up in the sonorous language of ‘biophilia.’’
      • ‘He had assembled a tremendous fighting force of sonorous words.’
      • ‘After all, A Comedy Of Errors has a sonorous, declamatory opening.’
      • ‘She began chanting, the words sonorous and liquid.’
      • ‘Those sonorous words did not emanate from Donald Graham or Arthur Sulzberger Jr., but from William Dean Singleton, one of the most controversial figures in the newspaper world.’
      impressive, imposing, majestic, extravagant, grandiloquent, magniloquent, high-flown, high-sounding, lofty, rotund, orotund, bombastic, grandiose, pompous, pretentious, overblown, overripe, oratorical, rhetorical, turgid, flowery, florid, declamatory, ciceronian
      View synonyms


Early 17th century: from Latin sonorus (from sonor ‘sound’) + -ous.