\ ˈnȯiz How to pronounce noise (audio) \
plural noises

Definition of noise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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
b : any sound that is undesired or interferes with one's hearing of something I couldn't hear him over all the noise.
c : loud, confused, or senseless shouting or outcry the noise of the demonstrators
d : 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.
2a : 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
b : 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)
c : 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
3a : 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
b : 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]
c 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
d : outcry, protest People have been making (a lot of) noise about the price increases.
4 : something that attracts attention the play … will make little noise in the world— Brendan 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
5 : something spoken or uttered My dad made a loud noise when he hit his finger with the hammer.
6 : a style of rock music that is loud, often discordant, and usually uses electronic effects (such as feedback and distortion)


noised; noising

Definition of noise (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to talk much or loudly
2 : to make a noise

transitive verb

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

Other Words from noise


noiseless \ ˈnȯiz-​ləs How to pronounce noise (audio) \ adjective
noiselessly adverb

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: Noun One of the noticeable things about microbiologist Christian Rinke’s laboratory is the startlingly loud crunching noise of wormlike larvae chewing their way through polystyrene, burrowing into blocks of the plastic foam. Fionna Samuels, Scientific American, 9 June 2022 For Henry Shi, a 30-year-old photographer who ventured out of his community on Tuesday afternoon, the first thing that struck him was the ambient noise of the city. Nectar Gan, CNN, 1 June 2022 Gannon Gill was wrapping up an appointment with a new patient on Wednesday when a loud noise startled him. New York Times, 1 June 2022 Ten people were injured and taken to the local hospital after a loud noise was heard inside the 19,000-capacity arena, causing attendees to run in fear, according to NBC News. Kevin L. Clark, Essence, 1 June 2022 Approximately 10 people were injured and taken to the hospital after a loud noise was heard inside 19,000-capacity arena, causing attendees to run in fear, NBC News reports. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, 29 May 2022 However, airport officials still assert the main issue is air traffic noise interfering with the apartments the team is proposing to build on the site. Renata Cló, The Arizona Republic, 26 May 2022 There is more noise than during some of the worst days of the pandemic. Los Angeles Times, 15 May 2022 For Classics 4 Kids conductor Dana Zimbric, that could be the most joyful noise of all. San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The shape of the airfoil is the key to noise generation here. Manasee Wagh, Popular Mechanics, 11 Mar. 2022 Ford says in documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that heat and noise insulators below the body can loosen, and touch the drive shaft. CBS News, 24 Feb. 2022 It was acclaimed for its experimental influences, ranging from Afro-funk to noise rock, and its social commentary on police brutality, violence against LGBTQAI people, and the lives of the oppressed in Brazil. Julyssa Lopez, Rolling Stone, 20 Jan. 2022 Ching's letter notes that noise complaints by Mirabella residents have been investigated by the Tempe Police Department and code enforcement officers, resulting in no violations being issued against the indoor/outdoor venue on East University Drive. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, 26 Jan. 2022 In preparation for their debut, the twins and their mother were placed in a shared living space, where they were exposed to sounds from a radio to get used to noise and voices from visitors. Washington Post, 12 Jan. 2022 The researchers also found that narwhals are extremely sensitive to noise from relatively far away. Ashley Stimpson, Popular Mechanics, 7 Jan. 2022 In response to noise complaints near popular entertainment districts, the city of San Antonio created a task force in March to determine if the existing policy needs to be altered. Malak Silmi, San Antonio Express-News, 20 Oct. 2021 But other seizures present much more subtly—a person may stare off into space, blink their eyes rapidly, experience changes in their breathing, or be unresponsive to noise or words. Patti Greco,, 18 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'noise.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of noise


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


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

History and Etymology for noise

Noun and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for noise

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near noise



noise factor

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Statistics for noise

Last Updated

17 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Noise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for noise


\ ˈnȯiz How to pronounce noise (audio) \

Kids Definition of noise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a loud or unpleasant sound
2 : sound entry 3 sense 1 the noise of the wind

Other Words from noise

noiseless \ -​ləs \ adjective
noiselessly adverb He moved noiselessly.


noised; noising

Kids Definition of noise (Entry 2 of 2)

: to spread by rumor or report The story was noised about.

More from Merriam-Webster on noise

Nglish: Translation of noise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of noise for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about noise


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