1 of 2


plural noises
: sound entry 1
We heard unusual noises in the attic.
especially : one that lacks an agreeable quality or is noticeably unpleasant or loud
traffic noise
… the City of Los Angeles proper has outlawed the use of blowers, citing the noise and dust they kick up as environmental hazards. Marc Cooper
… this research doesn't specifically address noise-induced hearing loss, which is either caused by a single exposure to extremely loud sounds such as an explosion or by repeated exposure to loud or very loud sounds, such as blaring music. Washington Post
see also noise pollution
: any sound that is undesired or interferes with one's hearing of something
I couldn't hear him over all the noise.
: loud, confused, or senseless shouting or outcry
the noise of the demonstrators
: the characteristic natural or routine sound or sounds of something (such as an animal or an environment)
the noise of the herons
the noise of the bubbling brook
She missed the noise of her hometown.
: an unwanted signal or a disturbance (such as static or a variation of voltage) in an electronic device or instrument (such as a radio or television)
broadly : a disturbance interfering with the operation of a usually mechanical device or system
: electromagnetic radiation (such as light or radio waves) that is composed of several frequencies (see frequency sense 3b) and that involves random changes in frequency or amplitude (see amplitude sense 1b)
: irrelevant or meaningless data or output occurring along with desired information
The initial data includes a lot of noise that needs to be weeded out.
Too many variables (what statisticians call "noise")—occupation, personal habits, diet, the presence of environmental insults other than the chemical in question, and so forth—exist in any given geographic area to allow clear linkages of diseases to specific contaminants.Peter Rogers
: common talk : rumor
The noise goes, this: there is among the Greeks / A lord of Troyan blood, nephew to Hector; / They call him Ajax.William Shakespeare
I know the noise is that many players in his position … would be putting up the insane numbers he has over the last couple of years. I don't agree with that. It takes a special talent to do what he's doing.Carlan Gay and Scott Rafferty
But now folks are making noise about an unbeaten season and a national title run.Brad Davis
: indirect, casual, or unofficial comments
Owner Ken Behring is making noise about moving the team, perhaps to a proposed new stadium in Los Angeles …Johnette Howard
usually plural
She started making noises about running for office. [=she started saying things that showed she was thinking about running for office]
noises plural : statements of a specified kind
The company has been making soothing/reassuring noises to calm the fears of investors.
In other words, the brand is definitely making all the right noises [=saying things that sound very appealing] for the developer community. But time will tell whether it follows up with solid action in this regard.Hadlee Simons
: outcry, protest
People have been making (a lot of) noise about the price increases.
: something that attracts attention
the play … will make little noise in the worldBrendan Gill
Serious historical research, still far more prevalent in Japan than in China, for obvious reasons, is gradually being drowned out by the noise of political rhetoric.Ian Buruma
: something spoken or uttered
My dad made a loud noise when he hit his finger with the hammer.
: a style of rock music that is loud, often discordant, and usually uses electronic effects (such as feedback and distortion)
noiseless adjective
noiselessly adverb


2 of 2


noised; noising

intransitive verb

: to talk much or loudly
: to make a noise

transitive verb

: to spread by rumor or report
usually used with about or abroad
the scandal was quickly noised about

Examples of noise in a Sentence

Noun I couldn't hear him over all the noise. That's not music. To me it's a bunch of noise. The furnace makes a lot of noise when it comes on. We closed the windows to block out the traffic noise. The landlord has been getting complaints from the tenants about noise. There were noises coming from the basement. The sink was making a gurgling noise. Do you hear that rattling noise? The machine hardly makes any noise. The initial data included a lot of noise that had to be weeded out. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
The team found that the frequency of scent marking directly increased with decibel levels, which suggests that scent marking is being used more frequently as their vocal communication becomes more drowned out by human noise. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 21 Sep. 2023 The second jet's would be off to prevent extra noise from interfering with the approach controller. Erik Ortiz, NBC News, 20 Sep. 2023 In that context, cutting out the noise might be a way to reassure investors. WIRED, 19 Sep. 2023 Now, one way to get recruits is by cutting through the noise and delivering unique videos and graphics right into their phone. Kevin Reynolds, The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 Sep. 2023 In April, the Ubbi Dubbi festival at Panther Island bothered Fort Worth residents as far as 10 miles from the venue, who said the noise carried late into the night. Tommy Cummings, Dallas News, 18 Sep. 2023 For her, yes, the noise, yes, the dirt, yes, the heat—whoops, a rat! D. T. Max, The New Yorker, 18 Sep. 2023 Getting the first one under his belt should quell outside noise about Napier’s long-term viability with the Gators (2-1, 1-0 Southeastern Conference). Mark Heim |, al, 16 Sep. 2023 On the one hand, Google’s made a lot of noise about its vision for ambient computing. Brandon Widder, The Verge, 15 Sep. 2023
The analysis could detect echolocation with 95 percent accuracy, boat engine noises with 92 percent accuracy, and rainfall with 98 percent accuracy. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 27 July 2023 One study found that damselfish that were conditioned to artificial noise actually became attracted to the noise, while those that were conditioned to noise from coral reefs avoided artificial noise. Gabriella Sotelo, Treehugger, 14 July 2023 The analysis reviewed more than 100 types of calls, from shootings to noise complaints. Everton Bailey Jr., Dallas News, 8 June 2023 Beluga whales are an important part of the ecosystem; however, due to oil drilling and ocean noise their habitat and health is at risk. Monica Cull, Discover Magazine, 9 Dec. 2021 The monkey noises may have been confused with barking from the student section, done to distract Beloit players when shooting free throws, the statement said. Quinn Clark, Journal Sentinel, 27 Mar. 2023 Utilizing only crystal-clear archival footage and eschewing other typical documentary techniques like interviews, narration or dramatizations, the film plays more like a disquieting music video or experimental short, the machinic noises and transmission dialogue acting as the soothing soundtrack. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Mar. 2023 Markel has been shooting off the cannons to celebrate Independence Day for more than four decades, first at his daughter's house in Milwaukee and more recently at his home in Greenfield, where the practice has led to noise complaints from neighbors and municipal citations from police. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 June 2021 Not too surprising that non-shared environment didn't have a strong correlation in effect across the traits, the authors note that much of this is going to noise in the model, and so not systematically biased in any direction. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 28 Sep. 2010 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'noise.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, disturbance, noise, from Latin nausea nausea

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1c


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of noise was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near noise

Cite this Entry

“Noise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a loud, confused, or senseless shouting or outcry
: sound entry 3 sense 1b
especially : a loud, harsh, or unharmonious sound
: an unwanted signal in an electronic communication system


2 of 2 verb
noised; noising
: to spread by rumor or report
noised it about that we would be allowed to leave early


Middle English noise "noise," from early French noise "quarrel, loud noise," from Latin nausea "seasickness, nausea," derived from Greek nautēs "sailor" — related to nausea see Word History at nausea

Word Origin
Although loud noise may make us sick, we probably do not think of the words noise and nausea as having much in common. But the word noise came into English from early French, in which it meant "quarrel, loud noise." French had it from the Latin word nausea meaning "seasickness, nausea." Perhaps the original connection was with the unpleasant sounds or complaints made by seasick passengers or sailors. Nausea, after all, came from the Greek word for sailor, nautēs.

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