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)

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Other Words from sonic

sonically \ ˈsä-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce sonically (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 Janacek himself couldn’t have asked for greater passion or more effective sonic scene painting. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Cleveland Orchestra starts off musical 2020 with winning, eclectic array," 10 Jan. 2020 The Birds of Prey trailer also shows these gals in action, including Black Canary’s super-sonic scream abilities. Nick Romano,, "Harley Quinn dumps Joker for the Birds of Prey in new trailer," 9 Jan. 2020 Curtis tackles the musical numbers with maximum sonic punch. oregonlive, "Portland Center Stage gives ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ a raucous homecoming," 7 Jan. 2020 The artist dresses up as a Hong Kong policeman from the British colonial era, holding a Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, a non-lethal sonic weapon, beaming concentrated sound or birdcalls at his audience. Vivienne Chow, Quartz, "Twelve works of art that chart the emotional upheavals of the Hong Kong protests," 31 Dec. 2019 His music straddled popular, classical and avant-garde styles, from jazz, rock, electronic dance music and new age to Baroque, Minimalism and sonic experiments. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Gershon Kingsley, Master of Electronic Sounds, Dies at 97," 15 Dec. 2019 The mysterious noises initially led investigators to suspect a sonic weapon, but investigators ruled out the possibility sound waves could have caused the damage. Josh Lederman, NBC News, "Doctors find differences in brains of U.S. diplomats who alleged mystery attacks in Cuba," 23 July 2019 But translating these sonic experiments from the record to the live setting has been the most fun and challenging work yet. Britt Julious,, "Chicago's Courtesy puts its music through the 'meat grinder'," 10 May 2018 Yet his sonic experiments been tepidly received, and his critical decline has coincided with waning influence in West’s sphere. Eric Renner Brown, Billboard, "What a Kanye West-Kid Cudi Joint Album Means to Hip-Hop," 30 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of sonic

1918, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for sonic

Time Traveler

The first known use of sonic was in 1918

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Statistics for sonic

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sonic.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for sonic


How to pronounce sonic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sonic

: of or relating to sound, sound waves, or the speed of sound


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 sonically (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on sonic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sonic

Spanish Central: Translation of sonic

Nglish: Translation of sonic for Spanish Speakers

Comments on sonic

What made you want to look up sonic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express in a more acceptable way

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