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)

Keep scrolling for more

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 Then, the backside is radiused for better cycling with sub-sonic match loads. Michael R. Shea, Field & Stream, "How to Upgrade Your Ruger 10/22," 22 Feb. 2021 Strom’s vast sonic worlds called out for meditative inquisitions and influenced a new generation of artists creating impressionistic experimental and electronic music. Washington Post, "Pauline Anna Strom’s posthumous album cements her legacy as an electronic music visionary," 19 Feb. 2021 For the first time ever, two microphones aboard the spacecraft—the Entry Descent and Landing Cam microphone and the SuperCam Microphone—will sample Mars' sonic landscape. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "We’ve Never Heard What Mars Sounds Like. Percy Will Change That.," 18 Feb. 2021 Behemoth’s sonic-mayhem performance railing against religious-fundamentalism laws in Poland. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Eric Walden: God bless the NBA for thwarting Mark Cuban’s socialist, un-American agenda," 13 Feb. 2021 The evolution of technology helped to bring this diverse group of people together for a colorful album that can be described as being like a sonic world’s fair. Billboard Japan, Billboard, "Breaking Down Guitarist Hotei's Collaborative Album 'Soul to Soul,' Feat. Artists From Around the Globe," 29 Jan. 2021 The pair of high-speed fighter-interceptors came out of nowhere, their sonic booms rattling the deck of the John Paul Jones, taking the crew completely unawares. Elliot Ackerman, Wired, "2034, Part I: Peril in the South China Sea," 26 Jan. 2021 Sabbath’s most creative album up until that point cemented the band as a sonic force on par with any act in any genre. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, "50 greatest Rock & Roll Hall of Fame albums of 1971," 22 Jan. 2021 This sonic wave assumed even grander proportions when channeled through Gold Star’s resonant echo chambers. New York Times, "Phil Spector, Famed Music Producer and Convicted Murderer, Dies at 81," 17 Jan. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of sonic

1918, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sonic

Statistics for sonic

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sonic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sonic



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 sonic (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
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!