son·​ic | \ ˈsä-nik How to pronounce sonic (audio) \

Definition of sonic

1 : utilizing, produced by, or relating to sound waves sonic altimeter broadly : of or involving sound sonic pollution
2 : having a frequency within the audibility range of the human ear used of waves and vibrations
3 : of, relating to, or being the speed of sound in air or about 761 miles per hour (1224 kilometers per hour) at sea level at 59°F (15°C)

Other Words from sonic

sonically \ ˈsä-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce sonic (audio) \ adverb

Did you know?

A sonic boom is an explosive sound created by a shock wave formed at the nose of an aircraft. In 1947 a plane piloted by Chuck Yeager burst the "sound barrier" and created the first sonic boom. In the decades afterward sonic booms became a familiar sound to Americans. (Because of steps that were eventually taken, sonic booms are rarely heard anymore.) Today sonic is often used by ambitious rock musicians to describe their experimental sounds.

Examples of sonic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The eruption also sent atmospheric shock wave and sonic booms across the globe, but a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters on Tuesday showed the effects also reached into space. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 16 May 2022 The QueSST project, announced in 2018, is an attempt by NASA to reduce sonic booms on supersonic aircraft. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 2 May 2022 Some videos posted by Belgorod residents to social media overnight appeared to show aircraft dropping flares in the night sky while others featured the sound of loud explosions or sonic booms. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, 2 May 2022 When the air-and-sea spectacle returns April 30-May 1, this year’s headlining elite fighting squadron will add new choreography to their usual hairpin vertical dives, sonic booms and vapor trails. Phillip Valys, Sun Sentinel, 26 Apr. 2022 Aertex’s chilly, brooding synthscapes provide a sonic counterpoint to Windhand’s psychedelic sludge, but bills that mix different types of bands widen an audience’s Venn diagram and provide a chance of actual — not algorithmic — discovery. Washington Post, 11 Nov. 2017 There’s a level of earnestness in the song’s construction that sounds familiar but is more or less foreign in the modern music world that is shrouded in sonic and lyrical elements that feel cold and inauthentic. Britt Julious, Chicago Tribune, 7 May 2022 Creating that sonic soundscape with Bowie’s sort of art leanings and his conceptual side and his unique singing style. Jim Ryan, Forbes, 6 May 2022 At its sonic core, The Last Resort is a fictional place where hangovers are plenty and heartaches linger, where memories resurface and men still have manners, and where the speed of one's life is forever put in focus. Tricia Despres,, 6 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of sonic

1918, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best headphones.

Learn More About sonic

Dictionary Entries Near sonic




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for sonic

Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sonic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for sonic


son·​ic | \ ˈsä-nik How to pronounce sonic (audio) \

Kids Definition of sonic

: using, produced by, or relating to sound waves


son·​ic | \ ˈsän-ik How to pronounce sonic (audio) \

Medical Definition of sonic

1 : having a frequency within the audibility range of the human ear used of waves and vibrations
2 : utilizing, produced by, or relating to sound waves a sonic device used to rupture cell walls

Other Words from sonic

sonically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce sonic (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on sonic

Nglish: Translation of sonic for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!