Meaning of “sound” in the English Dictionary

"sound" in English

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uk /saʊnd/ us /saʊnd/

sound noun (NOISE)

A2 [ C or U ] something that you can hear or that can be heard:

They could hear the sound of a bell tolling in the distance.
She stood completely still, not making a sound.
Suddenly we heard a loud knocking sound from the engine.
Sound can travel over very large distances in water.

[ U ] the activity of recording and broadcasting sound such as from a performance of music or for a film:

[ U ] the volume or quality of the sound of a television or film:

Could you turn the sound down/up on the TV?

[ C ] the particular quality of the music that a musician or a group of musicians produce:

The band's sound is a distinctive mixture of funk and rap.

More examples

sound noun (SEEM)

the sound of sth C2 [ S ]

how something seems to be, from what is said or written:

I like the sound of the beef in red wine sauce.
By/From the sound of it I don't think it was her fault.
I'm going to be talking to over 90 people? I don't like the sound of that!

sound noun (WATER PASSAGE)

[ C ] a passage of sea connecting two larger areas of sea, or an area of sea mostly surrounded by land:

the Kalmar Sound


uk /saʊnd/ us /saʊnd/

sound verb (SEEM)

sound good, interesting, strange, etc.

More examples

A2 to seem good, interesting, strange, etc. from what is said or written:

Your job sounds really interesting.
I know it sounds silly, but I'll miss him when he's gone.
sound like/as if/as though

B1 to seem like something, from what is said or written:

That sounds like a good idea.
It sounds like you've got a sore throat.
It sounds as if they had a good holiday.
You're going skiing with three friends? That sounds like fun.
sound angry, happy, rude, etc.

B2 to seem angry, happy, rude, etc. when you speak:

He sounded very depressed when we spoke on the phone yesterday.
At the press conference, he sounded at his most relaxed.

sound verb (NOISE)

[ I or T ] to make a noise:

If the alarm sounds, leave the building immediately.
It sounds like a bird.
He sounds (= speaks) just like someone I used to work with.
Sounding the car's horn, she drove at high speed through the crowded streets.
sound the alarm

to cause a noise to be made or say or shout a message to warn people about something:

Quick, sound the alarm - there's a fire in the machine room!

sound verb (WATER DEPTH)

[ T ] to measure the depth of a mass of water, such as the sea, usually by sonar

See also

Phrasal verb(s)


uk /saʊnd/ us /saʊnd/

soundadverb, adjective [ before noun ]

uk /saʊnd/ us /saʊnd/

(Definition of “sound” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sound" in American English

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us /sɑʊnd/

sound noun (SOMETHING HEARD)

[ C/U ] something heard or that may be heard:

[ C ] They could hear the sound of an airplane overhead.

sound noun (WATER PASSAGE)

[ C ] a passage of sea connecting two larger areas of sea, or an area of sea mostly surrounded by land:

Puget Sound
Long Island Sound


us /sɑʊnd/

sound verb (SEEM)

to suggest a particular feeling, state, or thing by the way something is said or a noise is made:

[ L ] He sounded rather discouraged when I called him yesterday.
[ I always + adv/prep ] You sound as if you have a sore throat.
[ I always + adv/prep ] From what you told me, she sounds like (= seems to be) a nice person.
[ I always + adv/prep ] That sounds like fun (= seems likely to be enjoyable).

sound verb (MAKE NOISE)

[ I/T ] to make a noise:

[ I ] A bell sounds after fifty minutes to signal the end of the class period.
[ T ] Sound the alarm – a prisoner has escaped!

Phrasal verb(s)

soundadjective [ -er/-est only ]

us /sɑʊnd/

sound adjective [ -er/-est only ] (HEALTHY)

in good condition; (of a person) healthy, or (of a thing) not broken or damaged:

a person of sound mind
Engineers had to close the bridge because it was not sound.

Sound also describes sleep that is deep and peaceful:

She was sound asleep when the phone rang.

sound adjective [ -er/-est only ] (GOOD)

good because based on good judgment or correct methods:

It was a sound approach to investing money.

(Definition of “sound” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"sound" in Business English

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uk /saʊnd/ us

showing good judgment, or able to be trusted:

A sound money-management strategy that has the added benefit of freeing up cash for new investments.
The booklet gives sound advice on how to choose a with-profits bond.

in good condition:

The bridge is structurally sound.

complete or detailed:

A sound knowledge of law is essential.

(Definition of “sound” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)