Definition of sough in US English:



[no object]
  • (of the wind in trees, the sea, etc.) make a moaning, whistling, or rushing sound.

    ‘the soughing of the wind in the canopy of branches’
    • ‘We pushed off from the shore and glided into the heart of the river - around us just the sound of the wind soughing in the reeds and the lapping of water against the hull.’
    • ‘The wind soughed in the grass and there was the hiss of the tumbling river.’
    • ‘Five great elms protect it from the vicious south-westerly gales of spring and autumn and, in the quiet of summer, provide an instrument in which gentle breezes sough.’
    • ‘But at the same time, I saw a sea of clouds and heard the soughing of the wind in the pines.’
    • ‘The beech bough across the clearing soughed in the gentle wind and I saw the silver chain glitter upon it.’
    • ‘The dog scratched and padded around the place and pushed his dish across the kitchen floor tiles, but otherwise it was so quiet you could hear the wind soughing in the firs.’
    • ‘It shamed her - remembering the wonderful soughing trees rather than the boys.’
    • ‘A few kilometres away from Madras city on the Coromandal coast, the boom of chisel and hammer rises in the sandy wilderness, above crashing waves and soughing winds.’
    • ‘The three women spend the rest of the day skating on a nearby frozen creek while the ‘live oak and soughing pine on the banks enclosed them and absorbed their laughter’.’
    • ‘The melancholy soughing of a cane-flute rose on the night breeze.’
    • ‘Like Arve Henriksen, Tamura's vocalised trumpet often resembled a shakuhachi (wooden Japanese flute) or (more fancifully) the gentle soughing of wind through trees.’
    rustle, murmur, sigh, moan, sough, whoosh, whir, swish, blow, breathe
    View synonyms


  • A moaning, whistling, or rushing sound as made by the wind in the trees or the sea.

    • ‘Then with giddy clarity I noted four sharp breaths and three disappointed soughs, one of which became a boreal ‘Oh Richard’.’
    • ‘A sough escapes her lips as her body lands on the ground.’
    rustle, murmur, sigh, moan, sough, whoosh, whir, swish
    View synonyms


Old English swōgan, of Germanic origin.