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 Connecting with nature often involves trading your memory foam mattress for a patch of ground and your white noise machine for singing (and stinging) insects. Popular Science, "Warm, versatile sleeping bags for outdoor adventures," 4 Feb. 2020 If the latter is impossible, white noise machines can help. NBC News, "Is your child sleep deprived? Here's how it can affect their development," 23 Jan. 2020 Her father, plagued by drug addiction, would turn on the shower, hoping the white noise would prevent his children from hearing him shooting up in the bathroom. oregonlive, "Volunteers of America Oregon scholarship helps kids escape shadow of substance abuse: Season of Sharing 2019," 12 Nov. 2019 And when people talk about the fight, that’s all white noise. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "Israel Adesanya Q&A: The UFC Middleweight Interim Champion is Ready For UFC243," 2 Oct. 2019 While the Beatles work a sludgy riff, Billy Preston plays a Hammond organ and Lennon overdubs a Moog synthesizer to add in some white noise. Joe Lynch, Billboard, "The Beatles' Abbey Road Turns 50: Classic Track-By-Track Review," 26 Sep. 2019 At the far side of the courtyard, the glass wall decorated with etched angels floating above the freeway seems almost soundproof, reducing the traffic below to white noise. Los Angeles Times, "Serenity, now: Where to find a quiet spot amid the bustle of L.A.," 20 Sep. 2019 Segran has a sound machine that bounces sound waves off the walls, providing just the right amount of white noise for the size of the bedroom. CBS News, "Inside the $70 billion industry designed to help you sleep," 5 Oct. 2019 Marpac Dohm classic white noise machine Another way to help new parents sleep? oregonlive, "11 holiday gifts for new parents," 20 Nov. 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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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

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“White noise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white%20noise. Accessed 24 Feb. 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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