echo·​lo·​ca·​tion | \ ˌe-kō-lō-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce echolocation (audio) \

Definition of echolocation

: a physiological process for locating distant or invisible objects (such as prey) by sound waves reflected back to the emitter (such as a bat) from the objects

Examples of echolocation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Kai is an independent kid, who uses echolocation to be aware of his surroundings. Taylor Kate Brown,, "Bay Briefing: Taking on another coronavirus metric," 2 Oct. 2020 Kai Wang, at home in Berkeley, has become adept at echolocation — the practice of clicking one’s tongue to hear sound bounce off objects — to be aware of his surroundings. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, "He’s 7 and blind. How will he learn remotely?," 28 Sep. 2020 The research team recorded the ultrasonic squeaks that bats use for echolocation. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "California Bats Thrive in Forests Recovering From Wildfires," 10 Mar. 2020 The researchers surveyed bat populations at six sites by recording the ultrasonic squeaks of bats doing echolocation. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "California Bats Thrive in Forests Recovering From Wildfires," 10 Mar. 2020 Steel and his colleagues deployed an array of microphones to count bats by recording their distinctive echolocation chirps and squeaks over four years at six sites in the Sierra Nevada. Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American, "Burned Habitats Benefit Bats," 5 Mar. 2020 Similar to the concept of echolocation (used by bats), these pulses interact with surrounding objects and bounce back as light reflections, which are then used to create a 3D point cloud. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Apple's New iPad Is a Lot Like a Self-Driving Car," 19 Mar. 2020 The bats’ super-powered volume helps them use echolocation to zero in on small, swift insect meals. Jessica Boddy, Popular Science, "Ranked: the loudest sounds ever measured," 3 Feb. 2020 The ears are equipped for echolocation, and aye-ayes are the largest nocturnal primates in the world, Hartstone-Rose says. Joshua Rapp Learn, Smithsonian, "Extra Thumb Discovered on Aye-Aye Lemurs, Giving These Primates Six Fingers," 22 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'echolocation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of echolocation

circa 1944, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for echolocation

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The first known use of echolocation was circa 1944

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Statistics for echolocation

Last Updated

5 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Echolocation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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