white noise

noun
|Updated on: 29 Jul 2018

Definition of white noise

1 a : 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

Recent Examples of white noise from the Web

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.

First Known Use of white noise

1943

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

Medical Dictionary

white noise

noun

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

Learn More about white noise


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up white noise? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

resembling the blue of the sky

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet-pasta-spelling-help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!