\ ˈnȯiz How to pronounce noise (audio) \
plural noises

Definition of noise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : sound entry 1 We heard unusual noises in the attic. especially : one that lacks an agreeable quality or is noticeably unpleasant or loud traffic noise … the City of Los Angeles proper has outlawed the use of blowers, citing the noise and dust they kick up as environmental hazards. — Marc Cooper … this research doesn't specifically address noise-induced hearing loss, which is either caused by a single exposure to extremely loud sounds such as an explosion or by repeated exposure to loud or very loud sounds, such as blaring music. Washington Post — see also noise pollution
b : any sound that is undesired or interferes with one's hearing of something I couldn't hear him over all the noise.
c : loud, confused, or senseless shouting or outcry the noise of the demonstrators
d : the characteristic natural or routine sound or sounds of something (such as an animal or an environment) the noise of the herons the noise of the bubbling brook She missed the noise of her hometown.
2a : an unwanted signal or a disturbance (such as static or a variation of voltage) in an electronic device or instrument (such as a radio or television) broadly : a disturbance interfering with the operation of a usually mechanical device or system
b : electromagnetic radiation (such as light or radio waves) that is composed of several frequencies (see frequency sense 3b) and that involves random changes in frequency or amplitude (see amplitude sense 1b)
c : irrelevant or meaningless data or output occurring along with desired information The initial data includes a lot of noise that needs to be weeded out. Too many variables (what statisticians call "noise") —occupation, personal habits, diet, the presence of environmental insults other than the chemical in question, and so forth—exist in any given geographic area to allow clear linkages of diseases to specific contaminants.— Peter Rogers
3a : common talk : rumor The noise goes, this: there is among the Greeks / A lord of Troyan blood, nephew to Hector; / They call him Ajax.— William Shakespeare I know the noise is that many players in his position … would be putting up the insane numbers he has over the last couple of years. I don't agree with that. It takes a special talent to do what he's doing.— Carlan Gay and Scott Rafferty But now folks are making noise about an unbeaten season and a national title run.— Brad Davis
b : indirect, casual, or unofficial comments Owner Ken Behring is making noise about moving the team, perhaps to a proposed new stadium in Los Angeles …— Johnette Howard usually plural She started making noises about running for office. [=she started saying things that showed she was thinking about running for office]
c noises plural : statements of a specified kind The company has been making soothing/reassuring noises to calm the fears of investors. In other words, the brand is definitely making all the right noises [=saying things that sound very appealing] for the developer community. But time will tell whether it follows up with solid action in this regard.— Hadlee Simons
d : outcry, protest People have been making (a lot of) noise about the price increases.
4 : something that attracts attention the play … will make little noise in the world— Brendan Gill Serious historical research, still far more prevalent in Japan than in China, for obvious reasons, is gradually being drowned out by the noise of political rhetoric.— Ian Buruma
5 : something spoken or uttered My dad made a loud noise when he hit his finger with the hammer.
6 : a style of rock music that is loud, often discordant, and usually uses electronic effects (such as feedback and distortion)


noised; noising

Definition of noise (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to talk much or loudly
2 : to make a noise

transitive verb

: to spread by rumor or report usually used with about or abroad the scandal was quickly noised about

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Other Words from noise


noiseless \ ˈnȯiz-​ləs How to pronounce noise (audio) \ adjective
noiselessly adverb

Examples of noise in a Sentence

Noun I couldn't hear him over all the noise. That's not music. To me it's a bunch of noise. The furnace makes a lot of noise when it comes on. We closed the windows to block out the traffic noise. The landlord has been getting complaints from the tenants about noise. There were noises coming from the basement. The sink was making a gurgling noise. Do you hear that rattling noise? The machine hardly makes any noise. The initial data included a lot of noise that had to be weeded out.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On May 15, an employee at Recreational Product Services started his car and heard a loud noise. cleveland, 28 May 2021 By making every test count, there is far less noise to cloud critical insight. James Scapa, Forbes, 28 May 2021 The girl's father had stepped out of a room, heard a noise and returned to find the attack occurring, Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said according to NBC affiliate WRAL. Phil Helsel, NBC News, 27 May 2021 West heard the noise, looked up and touched his hat. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 26 May 2021 To those for whom a Ferrari V-12 is the only music, the clattering of a flat-six spinning in anger is just plain noise. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 24 May 2021 Some have reported hearing a loud noise before the sudden onset of symptoms. Nomaan Merchant, Star Tribune, 23 May 2021 As officers walked around the house in the dark, Jefferson heard a noise in the backyard, pulled out a gun from her purse and pointed it at the window, police said. Carma Hassan, CNN, 22 May 2021 When officers arrived, Jefferson heard a noise outside and grabbed a handgun. Tom Steele, Dallas News, 19 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The data on low-level calls included 35 call types ranging from property damage to noise complaints to theft to responding to a sick or injured person. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 27 May 2021 The pandemic changed our relationship to noise: With people stuck inside, the atmospheric sounds of the world — car alarms, barking dogs, ambulance sirens — felt amplified. New York Times, 11 Mar. 2021 The council reallocated the $770,000 for animal control and noise ordinance enforcement, public safety data analysis, broadband for public housing, homeless outreach, communications and public engagement. Nyamekye Daniel, Washington Examiner, 23 Feb. 2021 In Gainesville, city police sign up to work overtime patrolling neighborhoods near campus on Friday and Saturday evenings until 3:30 a.m. and responding to noise complaints. Meleah Lyden,, 23 Oct. 2020 In Gainesville, city police sign up to work overtime patrolling neighborhoods near campus on Friday and Saturday evenings until 3:30 a.m. and responding to noise complaints. Meleah Lyden,, 23 Oct. 2020 In Gainesville, city police sign up to work overtime patrolling neighborhoods near campus on Friday and Saturday evenings until 3:30 a.m. and responding to noise complaints. Meleah Lyden,, 23 Oct. 2020 In Gainesville, city police sign up to work overtime patrolling neighborhoods near campus on Friday and Saturday evenings until 3:30 a.m. and responding to noise complaints. Meleah Lyden,, 23 Oct. 2020 However, in some areas, noise mitigation strategies such as sound walls or berms are considered for residents who live within 200 feet of where the strips are installed. Elizabeth Owens-schiele,, 10 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'noise.' 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 noise


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1c


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for noise

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, disturbance, noise, from Latin nausea nausea

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Time Traveler for noise

Time Traveler

The first known use of noise was in the 13th century

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Statistics for noise

Last Updated

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Noise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for noise



English Language Learners Definition of noise

: a loud or unpleasant sound
: a sound that someone or something makes
technical : unwanted electronic signals that harm the quality of something (such as a radio or television broadcast or a digital photograph)


\ ˈnȯiz How to pronounce noise (audio) \

Kids Definition of noise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a loud or unpleasant sound
2 : sound entry 3 sense 1 the noise of the wind

Other Words from noise

noiseless \ -​ləs \ adjective
noiselessly adverb He moved noiselessly.


noised; noising

Kids Definition of noise (Entry 2 of 2)

: to spread by rumor or report The story was noised about.


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