so·​nor·​i·​ty | \ sə-ˈnȯr-ə-tē How to pronounce sonority (audio) , -ˈnär- \
plural sonorities

Definition of sonority

1 : the quality or state of being sonorous : resonance
2 : a sonorous tone or speech
3 phonetics : the perceptibility or distinctness of speech sounds when spoken in a context in which stress, pitch, and sound duration are constant vowels possessing greater sonority than consonants

Examples of sonority in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Accordingly, the likes of Audemars Piguet, Chopard and Bulgari have been competing to improve sonority by any innovatory means. Tim Barber, Wired, 18 Dec. 2021 This surprising, beautiful sonority was sung by four gentlemen on the St. James altar, a terrific way to announce the return of San Diego Early Music Society concerts. San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Nov. 2021 The smooth melodic contour and noble warmth of this sonority is an Elgar fingerprint. Barrymore Laurence Scherer, WSJ, 4 Sep. 2020 Though there is plenty of content, the manipulation of sonorities drives the music. New York Times, 6 Feb. 2020 Throughout, three sopranos (Eliza Bagg, Martha Cluver and Estelí Gomez) sing wordless lyrical fragments and soft sonorities, lending an eerily angelic touch. New York Times, 21 Feb. 2020 Bent and sliding pitches, other worldly textures and novel sonorities have been central to her musical vocabularies, elements of East and West intermingling in compelling ways. Howard Reich,, 30 Sep. 2019 Conductor Storgards deserves credit for bringing forth the textural lucidity of what followed, ensuring that the winds, for instance, were unmistakably distinct from the rest of the orchestral sonority. Howard Reich,, 6 Dec. 2019 Salonen elicited eerily beautiful sonorities from Weill’s strange orchestration—for example, a slow-motion, proto-minimalist shimmer of winds in the third movement. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 9 Mar. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of sonority

circa 1623, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of sonority was circa 1623

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Cite this Entry

“Sonority.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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