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 In testing, this sound machine, which features two basic options for a fan or white noise, held up against our top pick (the Adaptive Sound + Sleep, $71.27) as far as decibels went, drowning out three different levels of conversation. Nicole Briese, USA TODAY, "The 5 best Amazon deals you can get this Tuesday," 16 June 2020 Associate editor Megan Spurrell loves this bluetooth one, which has settings for both ocean sounds and white noise, and comes in a handy travel size. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "Everything You Need for a Good Night's Sleep," 10 June 2020 The insects’ mating call creates a cacophony of white noise and causes excitement about a phenomenon that is supposed to occur only once every 13 or 17 years. Knvul Sheikh, Scientific American, "Noisy Cicadas Are Widely Misunderstood," 5 June 2020 When the white noise ended: Outside the Kuala Lumpur home of photographer Ian Teh, the morning hum of traffic was replaced by the cheery tweets and chirps of birds during the pandemic quarantine. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 29 May 2020 The white noise of the hero complex deepens, widens, and obscures the human cost of this burnout epidemic. Matthew Lewis, STAT, "Calling health care workers ‘heroes’ harms all of us," 21 May 2020 As the cat moves, the sound shifts and changes, evolving from ethereal arias to scratchy white noise. Melissa Locker, Time, "Tentative and Musically Gifted Cat Playing a Theremin Has Given Us the Song of the Season," 11 Mar. 2020 Noise cancelling headphones, or a white noise machine could help with distractions. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland, "How to work from home without hurting your back or driving your family crazy: Everything you need to know," 29 Apr. 2020 Ryan Prock: Her interviews, the knife … the crime scene, that's the case … everything else is white noise. Jamie Yuccas, CBS News, "Why was the word "boy" carved into the arm of an accused killer?," 8 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for white noise

Time Traveler

The first known use of white noise was in 1943

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Statistics for white noise

Last Updated

20 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“White noise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white%20noise. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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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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