white noise


Definition of white noise 

1a : a heterogeneous mixture of sound waves extending over a wide frequency range — compare pink noise

b : a constant background noise especially : one that drowns out other sounds

2 : meaningless or distracting commotion, hubbub, or chatter the white noise of policy and politics in America— Joseph Nocera

Examples of white noise in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Hair tools drone on like white noise machines, a rack of sequined clothes is wheeled in, music that can be best described as reggae-ish? Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Bethenny Frankel Doesn't Need to Be Thanked. But She Wouldn't Mind a Little Gratitude From President Trump.," 14 Sep. 2018 Simply plug the unit into any outlet, download the smartphone app, and select from 75 sounds that include white noise, fan sounds, nature sounds, and lullabies. Necee Regis, BostonGlobe.com, "Here, there, and everywhere," 10 July 2018 From the safe little room in the middle of my old house, the tornadoes sounded like creamy-smooth, deep-white noise underneath the constant mid-range hissing of the rain. Timothy Morton, The Atlantic, "The Hurricane in My Backyard," 8 July 2018 In the last month, he's added another step to his routine: donning Bose white noise headphones in an attempt to drown out the noise emanating from Golden Road Brewing Co. six stories below. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "Golden Road Brewing keeps its neighbors up at night. Is the city partially to blame?," 21 June 2018 Play music or a white noise machine to help dilute the sound of the fireworks. Southern Living, "How to Keep Dogs Calm During Fireworks," 3 July 2018 The white noise of water-spray competed with the radio voices. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Five Early Lessons in Parenting," 5 May 2018 For both dogs and cats, create a safe space inside the house with music or white noise that drowns out the fireworks and keeps them calm. Cathy M. Rosenthal, courant.com, "Pet World: Helping Dogs And Cats Survive The Fourth Of July," 22 June 2018 Shushing = Sleep All babies sleep better with rumbly white noise … and most parents do, too! Anya Leon, PEOPLE.com, "5 Tips to Help Your Baby Be a Great Sleeper from Dr. Harvey Karp, Founder of Happiest Baby," 27 Feb. 2018

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

1943, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for white noise

The first known use of white noise was in 1943

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More Definitions for white noise

white noise


Medical Definition of white noise 

: a heterogeneous mixture of sound waves extending over a wide frequency range that has been used to mask out unwanted noise interfering with sleep

called also white sound

More from Merriam-Webster on white noise

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with white noise

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about white noise

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a nest or breeding place

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