white noise

noun

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 When the American firm Herman Miller adapted Bürolandschaft into a modular cubicle system called Action Office, white noise machines were supposed to provide the privacy that had been eliminated. Richard Cooke, The New Republic, "The Perpetual Disappointment of Remote Work," 4 Jan. 2021 It’s white noise Hardin learns to ignore, as ignored as the people of Flint have been. Washington Post, "In ‘Standpipe,’ David Hardin offers poignant, fleeting reflections on the Flint water crisis," 21 Jan. 2021 This one is beloved by Amazon shoppers and comes with lots of relaxing sounds other than white noise too. Naveen Kumar, CNN Underscored, "20 gifts that help relieve the stress of 2020," 16 Dec. 2020 Your sleep mask is on and you're wrapped up in super-soft sheets, as soothing white noise plays in the background. Erin Parker, Glamour, "11 Best Humidifiers for Bedrooms in 2021," 29 Dec. 2020 The soundtrack to Maya Montoya’s year was white noise. New York Times, "Your Most-Played Song of 2020 Is … White Noise?," 24 Dec. 2020 Jane listens to the crackle of white noise—cosmic background radiation—a faint reminder of the big bang. Seija Rankin, EW.com, "Read Charles Yu's first work of fiction since the National Book Award-winning Interior Chinatown," 5 Jan. 2021 As one of our all-around favorites, this 4.3-star rated Big Red Rooster BRRC107 six-sound white noise machine makes for a great present for yourself or a loved one, and right now, it's marked down heavily from $29.99 to $19.99. Shayna Murphy, USA TODAY, "The 5 best Amazon deals you can get this Thursday," 11 Dec. 2020 Some of them just vibrate, some let Mom pick the baby up more easily, some play white noise or shoot colors on the ceiling to lull the little one, and a few actually rock the baby back and forth. Gear Team, Wired, "All the Gear We Fell In Love With During 2020," 24 Dec. 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.

See More

First Known Use of white noise

1943, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about white noise

Time Traveler for white noise

Time Traveler

The first known use of white noise was in 1943

See more words from the same year

Statistics for white noise

Last Updated

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“White noise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white%20noise. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for white noise

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

More from Merriam-Webster on white noise

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about white noise

Comments on white noise

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!