so·​nar | \ ˈsō-ˌnär How to pronounce sonar (audio) \

Definition of sonar

: a method or device for detecting and locating objects especially underwater by means of sound waves sent out to be reflected by the objects also : a device for detecting the presence of a vessel (such as a submarine) by the sound it emits in water

Examples of sonar in a Sentence

They detected the submarine by using sonar.
Recent Examples on the Web Another product that’s sure to be huge with bass anglers who can afford it is the Humminbird Mega-Imaging sonar/gps system from Humminbird—a Eufaula, Alabama, company. Frank Sargeant, al, 25 July 2021 Levine Cava said rescuers are using a grid search approach on the pile and continue to utilize sonar, cameras and K9 resources. Hollie Silverman, CNN, 28 June 2021 As the search for survivors entered its fourth day Sunday, rescuers in heavy protective gear used cranes, sonar, cameras and search dogs to look for signs of life. Lois K. Solomon,, 27 June 2021 Rescue teams are using K9s and an array of technology – including sonar, cameras, sensitive microphones, and drones – to try to find survivors. Paul Best, Fox News, 26 June 2021 However, this year, their sonar didn’t gather much useful data. Elizabeth Earl, Anchorage Daily News, 15 June 2021 Aquatica’s three-person Stingray submarine captured extensive sonar and video footage to help understand and protect the world’s oceans. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 9 July 2021 On Saturday, rescue workers continued to go over the mountain of debris with rescue dogs and sonar searching for any survivors, Cava said. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 27 June 2021 Teams also continued to tunnel into the site and dogs, sonar and cameras were deployed. NBC News, 26 June 2021

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

1943, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sonar

sound navigation ranging

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Statistics for sonar

Last Updated

17 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sonar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for sonar



English Language Learners Definition of sonar

: a device used for finding things that are underwater by using sound waves


so·​nar | \ ˈsō-ˌnär How to pronounce sonar (audio) \

Kids Definition of sonar

: a device for detecting objects underwater using reflected sound waves

More from Merriam-Webster on sonar

Nglish: Translation of sonar for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sonar


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