au·​di·​to·​ry | \ ˈȯ-də-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce auditory (audio) \

Definition of auditory

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : audience
2 archaic : auditorium



Definition of auditory (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or experienced through hearing auditory stimuli

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Other Words from auditory


auditorily \ ˌȯ-​də-​ˈtȯr-​ə-​lē How to pronounce auditory (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for auditory

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Auditory is close in meaning to acoustic and acoustical, but auditory usually refers more to hearing than to sound. For instance, many dogs have great auditory (not acoustic) powers, and the auditory nerve lets us hear by connecting the inner ear to the brain. Acoustic and acoustical instead refer especially to instruments and the conditions under which sound can be heard; so architects concern themselves with the acoustic properties of an auditorium, and instrument makers with those of a clarinet or piano.

Examples of auditory in a Sentence

Adjective The patient has damage to the auditory nerve. I have a bad auditory memory—unless I see a word in writing, and not just hear it, I forget it easily.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the 21 patients examined, 15 to 18 experienced sleep disturbances and headaches as well as cognitive, auditory, balance and visual dysfunction. Robert Baloh, The Conversation, 30 Sep. 2021 However, people with auditory processing disorder can also find listening to podcasts a challenge. Zoe Pickburn, Wired, 13 Sep. 2021 And the old-school auditory experience from the 472-hp V-8—up 56 horsepower from the original IS F—is well worth a few fractions of a second. Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, 10 Sep. 2021 An auditory learner who would benefit from listening in on a call. Jennifer Smith, Forbes, 10 Sep. 2021 So first, for me, the auditory sense is the first one to come. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, 8 Sep. 2021 Plan for four seasons of sensory stimulation with visual, touch, auditory, smell and edible fruits or vegetables. oregonlive, 8 Sep. 2021 No one disputes that the visual cortex enables sight, that the auditory cortex enables hearing, or that the hippocampus is essential for memory. Quanta Magazine, 24 Aug. 2021 The brain's auditory cortex, which processes sound, reacted similarly in subjects with and without misophonia. Christiane Gelitz, Scientific American, 16 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The auditory nature of music lends itself to this as no other art does. Jack Hamilton, The Atlantic, 6 Oct. 2021 Even watching sports on TV was a visual and auditory minefield of ads featuring foaming beer manes and streams of whiskey splashing on the rocks. John Seabrook, The New Yorker, 20 Sep. 2021 For most people, auditory scene analysis, or the ability to pick out one sound amid a noisy environment, is second nature. Zoe Pickburn, Wired, 13 Sep. 2021 Stepping into the building that houses Summit is an auditory experience, like standing next to the ocean. Doug Strickland, Popular Mechanics, 6 Sep. 2021 Her statement is also true internationally as cochlear implantation and therapeutic approaches such as auditory verbal therapy spread. Michele Friedner, Scientific American, 3 Aug. 2021 Just as some people are highly visual and others are highly auditory, others still are taste-driven. Gina Vaynshteyn, Glamour, 29 July 2021 There are a few small nods to this auditory theme throughout the unit. Helena Madden, Robb Report, 23 July 2021 Rather than solely focusing on the past, Fire in Little Africa is an auditory viewpoint of Black America today. Allison Hazel, Essence, 26 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'auditory.' 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 auditory


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1578, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for auditory


Middle English auditorie, borrowed from Latin audītōrium "hall, body of listeners" — more at auditorium


borrowed from Late Latin audītōrius, from audīre "to hear" + -tōrius, deverbal adjective suffix originally forming derivatives from agent nouns ending in -tōr-, -tor — more at audible entry 1

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Time Traveler for auditory

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The first known use of auditory was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near auditory



auditory capsule

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Statistics for auditory

Last Updated

4 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Auditory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for auditory



English Language Learners Definition of auditory

: relating to hearing or the ears


au·​di·​to·​ry | \ ˈȯ-də-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce auditory (audio) \

Kids Definition of auditory

: of or relating to hearing an auditory nerve


au·​di·​to·​ry | \ ˈȯd-ə-ˌtōr-ē, -ˌtȯr- How to pronounce auditory (audio) \

Medical Definition of auditory

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to hearing
2 : attained, experienced, or produced through or as if through hearing auditory images auditory hallucinations
3 : marked by great susceptibility to impressions and reactions produced by acoustic stimuli an auditory individual


plural auditories

Medical Definition of auditory (Entry 2 of 2)

More from Merriam-Webster on auditory

Nglish: Translation of auditory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of auditory for Arabic Speakers


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