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

The drive robots continue to shuffle around for a few minutes, with their incessant electric white noise, until suddenly the place falls almost silent. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Inside the Amazon Warehouse Where Humans and Machines Become One," 5 June 2019 Ahead, find our recommendations for white noise machines, soothing sound-makers, and even one baby-friendly device that will have your whole household snoring. Allure, "The 8 Best Sound Machines For a Better Night’s Sleep," 31 May 2019 The corridors of the building buzz with the ceaseless clicking of keyboards, a kind of white noise, accompanied by the electronic beeps that signal a task has been completed or information is now awaiting retrieval. Barry Lopez, Harper's magazine, "Polar Light," 10 Jan. 2019 Among the amenities are a 24-hour market in the lobby selling white noise machines and snacks; self-service check-in kiosks; digital interfaces in rooms for making requests; and use of the meditation app Headspace. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "Atelier Ace's New New York City Hotel Wants to Help You Clear Your Head," 14 May 2019 The white noise of ethanol waves breaking over and over again on this asphalt shore. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "One Day at Daytona," 22 Mar. 2019 The typical white noise, ocean sounds, and rain sounds aren't hard to come by, but there are plenty of people out there who can't sleep specifically without the gentle whirr of a fan running all night, and that's where the LectroFan EVO comes in. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "LectroFan EVO Is the Perfect Gift for People who Can't Sleep Without a Fan on," 14 Mar. 2019 In fact, the bedroom should ideally contain just the things that contribute to sound sleep, like comfortable bedding, blackout shades, and white noise machines. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The Right Way to Clean Your Bedroom So You Can Sleep Better Than Ever," 14 Mar. 2019 Turns out, our daughter was powerless against the white noise of the fan above the oven. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "3 Tricks That Will Calm a Crying Baby, According to a Researcher Who Surveyed 800+ Parents," 16 Jan. 2019

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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Statistics for white noise

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

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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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