son·ic | \ˈsä-nik \

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 \ 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

Sure, there are legendary rappers who have carved out a much bigger sonic and cultural imprint. Stereo Williams, Billboard, "Drake's 2018 Has Been Huge. But Is He the Biggest Rapper Ever?," 13 July 2018 The common bond between the two — a certain looseness in the notation — is more conceptual than sonic, so the interlocking strains don’t always have a lot to say to each other in performance. Joshua Kosman,, "CD review: ‘Codex’ by Bruce Brubaker," 11 July 2018 The sonic cleansing and exfoliating brush is normally $199, but that price is getting cut down to $149 on Prime Day. Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, "Amazon Prime Day: insider tips to getting the best deals and avoiding the hype," 9 July 2018 Take no prisoners Pixies charged through 23 songs in 70 minutes, an unrelenting sonic assault featuring zero stage banter from vocalist-guitarist Black Francis. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "5 ways Weezer and Pixies conjured nostalgic magic at Ruoff amphitheater," 9 July 2018 This weekend, though, the sonic situation at the peer gets a cool upgrade, courtesy of Chi-Soul Fest, the Chicago soul music festival that celebrates the city’s illustrious history of black music. Adam Lukach, RedEye Chicago, "5 things to do this weekend in Chicago," 28 June 2018 Like the best artists in history, Beyoncé uses these tropes and archetypes to make new work that becomes its own kind of inside joke and artistry, a sonic way of playing the dozens with her enemies. Joshunda Sanders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Everything Is Love Is the Ultimate Ode to Black Freedom," 22 June 2018 Scientists are hard-pressed to explain the alleged sonic assaults targeting U.S. diplomats, even as the State Department evacuated ailing personnel from Guangzhou, China, in May, and warned American citizens abroad about risks. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "Can Ultrasonic Noise Make You Sick?," 16 June 2018 The loud, dominant thuds were a sonic revelation for Vinson-Ondecko, but so, too, were the voices around her. Jonas Shaffer,, "For one female football coach, a day at Ravens minicamp to remember (and study)," 12 June 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

The first known use of sonic was in 1918

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English Language Learners Definition of sonic

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


son·ic | \ˈsä-nik \

Kids Definition of sonic

: using, produced by, or relating to sound waves


son·ic | \ˈsän-ik \

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 \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on sonic

See words that rhyme with sonic

Spanish Central: Translation of sonic

Nglish: Translation of sonic for Spanish Speakers

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