\ ˈsau̇n(d)-ˌbīt How to pronounce sound-bite (audio) \

Definition of sound-bite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: containing or characterized by sound bites sound-bite politics

sound bite


Definition of sound bite (Entry 2 of 2)

: a brief recorded statement (as by a public figure) broadcast especially on a television news program also : a brief catchy comment or saying

Examples of sound-bite in a Sentence

Noun His campaign relies on catchy sound bites.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But that’s not easy to talk about in a sound bite, and Newsome blames both Democrats and Republicans for a lack of nuance and accountability. Anchorage Daily News, "Summer of protest: Chance for change, but obstacles exposed," 7 Sep. 2020 Unfortunately, these sound bites often feel cursory — small blips in Moe’s overarching narrative. Melissa Broder, New York Times, "The Funny Thing About Depression Is ...," 5 May 2020 Gottlieb is a fast talker who speaks in sound bites, and is drawn to the immediacy and directness of Twitter–another asset during a fast-evolving pandemic. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "'It Tortures Me That I'm Not There Helping.' Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on the Fight Against COVID-19," 9 Apr. 2020 Yet Mueller appeared unwilling or unable to offer crisp sound bites that could reshape public opinions. Michael Balsamo, The Denver Post, "In hours of testimony Robert Mueller answers questions from Congress about Russia probe," 24 July 2019 In the previous eight debates, the gender of the female candidates had been addressed mostly via glib sound bites: Of course women can win elections! Nancy Pelosi beats Donald Trump every day! Monica Hesse, Washington Post, "Warren and Klobuchar stopped tone-policing themselves. It created the realest debate moments yet.," 20 Feb. 2020 In a study that spanned 24 different societies and included 966 participants, scientists played short sound bites of pairs of people laughing together. In some cases, the pair were close friends, in others, the pair were strangers. Everyday Einstein Sabrina Stierwalt, Scientific American, "Why Do We Laugh?," 9 Feb. 2020 But the format also means that, once again, 10 candidates will be jostling for speaking time — a situation that can lend itself more to sound bites than to in-depth, well, debate. Maggie Astor,, "The September Democratic debate will be one night only," 29 Aug. 2019 This is not the first time a pro-Trump PAC has used the sound bite. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "Obama demands TV stations stop airing 'despicable' anti-Biden ad from Pro-Trump PAC that misuses his words," 27 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sound-bite.' 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 sound-bite


1986, in the meaning defined above


1972, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of sound-bite was in 1972

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Cite this Entry

“Sound-bite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for sound-bite

sound bite


English Language Learners Definition of sound bite

: a short recorded statement that is broadcast on a television or radio news program

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