sten·​to·​ri·​an | \ sten-ˈtȯr-ē-ən How to pronounce stentorian (audio) \

Definition of stentorian

: extremely loud spoke in stentorian tones

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Choose the Right Synonym for stentorian

loud, stentorian, earsplitting, raucous, strident mean marked by intensity or volume of sound. loud applies to any volume above normal and may suggest undue vehemence or obtrusiveness. loud shouts of protest stentorian implies great power and range. an actor with a stentorian voice earsplitting implies loudness that is physically discomforting. the earsplitting sound of a siren raucous implies a loud harsh grating tone, especially of voice, and may suggest rowdiness. the raucous shouts of drunken revelers strident implies a rasping discordant but insistent quality, especially of voice. the strident voices of hecklers

Did You Know?

The Greek herald Stentor was known for having a voice that came through loud and clear. In fact, in the Iliad, Homer described Stentor as a man whose voice was as loud as that of fifty men together. Stentor's powerful voice made him a natural choice for delivering announcements and proclamations to the assembled Greek army during the Trojan War, and it also made his name a byword for any person with a loud, strong voice. Both the noun stentor and the related adjective stentorian pay homage to the big-voiced warrior, and both have been making noise in English since the early 17th century.

Examples of stentorian in a Sentence

the professor's stentorian voice was enough to keep even the drowsiest student awake
Recent Examples on the Web Showerman is the least effective actor in the bunch, affecting a stentorian voice and officious manner that come across as parodic. Donna Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, "Review: From screen to stage, ‘Little Mermaid’ expands on a beloved tale," 23 Oct. 2019 The transition to these new tones had been masked, so the tragic-hued change came as a gentle surprise, all the more effective for having being delivered without any obvious, stentorian announcement. Seth Colter Walls, New York Times, "Review: A Pulitzer Sequel for Orchestra, Packed With Drama in Microcosm," 30 Mar. 2018 In his concurring opinion, the court’s newest justice dropped his usual folksy writing style for a more stentorian tone, one that evoked the stern language of his predecessor, Scalia. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Gorsuch Did Scalia Proud (If Not Trump)," 17 Apr. 2018 Mark Walters, cloaked in a cliched yet effective black leather trench coat, made a fearsome Don Pizarro, armed both with a knife and a stentorian baritone. Jeremy Eichler,, "From darkness to light with Boston Baroque’s rousing ‘Fidelio’," 14 Apr. 2018 The stentorian bass Georg Zeppenfeld brought sad dignity to the scene when King Marke, who has been like a father to Tristan, is crushed by the young man’s betrayal with Isolde, who is betrothed to Marke. Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, "Review: Jonas Kaufmann Takes a Big Step Toward ‘Tristan’," 13 Apr. 2018 Langen gives #2 a tremulousness that’s equally capable of bursting into tears or cheering with a stentorian peal. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Marin Theatre Company’s ‘The Wolves,’ about a girls’ soccer team, a shut-out win," 21 Mar. 2018 Lee brought a stentorian voice to the role, although early on sounded strained at points. Theodore P. Mahne,, "'Phantom of the Opera' revisits Saenger with fresh new production that maintains the magic," 19 Mar. 2018 More than 214 million people in 195 cities and territories heard God's call in Graham's stentorian voice and witnessed him deliver the Gospel — pure and uncritical — in person or by satellite links. Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY, "Billy Graham reached millions through his crusades. Here's how he did it," 21 Feb. 2018

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

1605, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of stentorian was in 1605

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Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Stentorian.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for stentorian


How to pronounce stentorian (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of stentorian

literary : very loud

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More from Merriam-Webster on stentorian

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stentorian

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stentorian

Britannica English: Translation of stentorian for Arabic Speakers

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one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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