Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Vibrations transmitted through an elastic solid or a liquid or gas, with frequencies in the approximate range of 20 to 20,000 hertz, capable of being detected by human organs of hearing.
  • n. Transmitted vibrations of any frequency.
  • n. The sensation stimulated in the organs of hearing by such vibrations in the air or other medium.
  • n. Such sensations considered as a group.
  • n. A distinctive noise: a hollow sound.
  • n. The distance over which something can be heard: within sound of my voice.
  • n. Linguistics An articulation made by the vocal apparatus: a vowel sound.
  • n. Linguistics The distinctive character of such an articulation: The words bear and bare have the same sound.
  • n. A mental impression; an implication: didn't like the sound of the invitation.
  • n. Auditory material that is recorded, as for a movie.
  • n. Meaningless noise.
  • n. Music A distinctive style, as of an orchestra or a singer.
  • n. Archaic Rumor; report.
  • intransitive v. To make or give forth a sound: The siren sounded.
  • intransitive v. To be given forth as a sound: The fanfare sounded.
  • intransitive v. To present a particular impression: That argument sounds reasonable.
  • transitive v. To cause to give forth or produce a sound: sounded the gong.
  • transitive v. To summon, announce, or signal by a sound: sound a warning.
  • transitive v. Linguistics To articulate; pronounce: sound a vowel.
  • transitive v. To make known; celebrate: "Nations unborn your mighty names shall sound” ( Alexander Pope).
  • transitive v. To examine (a body organ or part) by causing to emit sound; auscultate.
  • sound off To express one's views vigorously: was always sounding off about higher taxes.
  • sound off To count cadence when marching in military formation.
  • adj. Free from defect, decay, or damage; in good condition.
  • adj. Free from disease or injury. See Synonyms at healthy.
  • adj. Having a firm basis; unshakable: a sound foundation.
  • adj. Financially secure or safe: a sound economy.
  • adj. Based on valid reasoning: a sound observation. See Synonyms at valid.
  • adj. Free from logical flaws: sound reasoning.
  • adj. Logic Of or relating to an argument in which all the premises are true and the conclusion follows from the premises.
  • adj. Thorough; complete: a sound flogging.
  • adj. Deep and unbroken; undisturbed: a sound sleep.
  • adj. Free from moral defect; upright.
  • adj. Worthy of confidence; trustworthy.
  • adj. Marked by or showing common sense and good judgment; levelheaded: a sound approach to the problem.
  • adj. Compatible with an accepted point of view; conservative.
  • adj. Law Legally valid.
  • adv. Thoroughly; deeply: sound asleep.
  • n. A long, relatively wide body of water, larger than a strait or a channel, connecting larger bodies of water.
  • n. A long, wide ocean inlet.
  • n. The air bladder of a fish.
  • transitive v. To measure the depth of (water), especially by means of a weighted line; fathom.
  • transitive v. To try to learn the attitudes or opinions of: sounded out her feelings.
  • transitive v. To probe (a body cavity) with a sound.
  • intransitive v. To measure depth.
  • intransitive v. To dive swiftly downward. Used of a whale or fish.
  • intransitive v. To look into a possibility; investigate.
  • n. An instrument used to examine or explore body cavities, as for foreign bodies or other abnormalities, or to dilate strictures in them.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Healthy.
  • adj. Complete, solid, or secure.
  • adj. (argument, logical system) having the soundness property.
  • adj. Good.
  • adj. Quiet and deep. Sound asleep means sleeping peacefully, often deeply.
  • interj. Yes; used to show agreement or understanding, generally without much enthusiasm.
  • n. A sensation perceived by the ear caused by the vibration of air or some other medium.
  • n. A vibration capable of causing this.
  • n. A distinctive style and sonority of a particular musician, orchestra etc
  • v. To produce a sound.
  • v. To convey an impression by one's sound.
  • v. To arise or to be recognizable as arising within a particular area of law.
  • v. To cause to produce a sound.
  • v. To pronounce a vowel or a consonant.
  • n. : Long narrow inlet. (Puget Sound, Owen Sound, etc.)
  • v. dive downwards, used of a whale.
  • v. probe
  • v. test
  • n. A probe (e.g. a surgeon's tool)
  • n. this sense?) A sex toy comparable to a very narrow dildo inserted into a penis through the urethra

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Whole; unbroken; unharmed; free from flaw, defect, or decay; perfect of the kind.
  • adj. Healthy; not diseased; not being in a morbid state; -- said of body or mind.
  • adj. Firm; strong; safe.
  • adj. Free from error; correct; right; honest; true; faithful; orthodox; -- said of persons.
  • adj. Founded in truth or right; supported by justice; not to be overthrown on refuted; not fallacious.
  • adj. heavy; laid on with force.
  • adj. Undisturbed; deep; profound.
  • adj. Founded in law; legal; valid; not defective.
  • adv. Soundly.
  • n. The air bladder of a fish.
  • n. A cuttlefish.
  • n. A narrow passage of water, or a strait between the mainland and an island; also, a strait connecting two seas, or connecting a sea or lake with the ocean.
  • n. Any elongated instrument or probe, usually metallic, by which cavities of the body are sounded or explored, especially the bladder for stone, or the urethra for a stricture.
  • n. The peceived object occasioned by the impulse or vibration of a material substance affecting the ear; a sensation or perception of the mind received through the ear, and produced by the impulse or vibration of the air or other medium with which the ear is in contact; the effect of an impression made on the organs of hearing by an impulse or vibration of the air caused by a collision of bodies, or by other means; noise; report.
  • n. The occasion of sound; the impulse or vibration which would occasion sound to a percipient if present with unimpaired; hence, the theory of vibrations in elastic media such cause sound.
  • n. Noise without signification; empty noise; noise and nothing else.
  • intransitive v. To ascertain the depth of water with a sounding line or other device.
  • intransitive v. To make a noise; to utter a voice; to make an impulse of the air that shall strike the organs of hearing with a perceptible effect.
  • intransitive v. To be conveyed in sound; to be spread or published; to convey intelligence by sound.
  • intransitive v. To make or convey a certain impression, or to have a certain import, when heard; hence, to seem; to appear.
  • transitive v. To measure the depth of; to fathom; especially, to ascertain the depth of by means of a line and plummet.
  • transitive v. Fig.: To ascertain, or try to ascertain, the thoughts, motives, and purposes of (a person); to examine; to try; to test; to probe.
  • transitive v. To explore, as the bladder or urethra, with a sound; to examine with a sound; also, to examine by auscultation or percussion.
  • transitive v. To cause to make a noise; to play on.
  • transitive v. To cause to exit as a sound.
  • transitive v. To order, direct, indicate, or proclain by a sound, or sounds; to give a signal for by a certain sound.
  • transitive v. To celebrate or honor by sounds; to cause to be reported; to publish or proclaim.
  • transitive v. To examine the condition of (anything) by causing the same to emit sounds and noting their character.
  • transitive v. To signify; to import; to denote.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Healthy; not diseased; having all the organs and faculties complete and in perfect action: as, a sound mind; a sound body.
  • Whole; uninjured; unhurt; unmutilated; not lacerated or bruised: as, a sound limb.
  • Free from special defect, decay, or injury; unimpaired; not deteriorated: as, a sound ship; sound fruit; a sound constitution.
  • Morally healthy; honest; honorable; virtuous; blameless.
  • Without defect or flaw in logic; founded in truth; firm; strong; valid; that cannot be refuted or overthrown: as, a sound argument.
  • Right; correct; well-founded; free from error; pure: as, sound doctrine.
  • Reasoning accurately; logical; clear-minded; free from erroneous ideas; orthodox.
  • Founded in right and law; legal; not defective in law: as, a sound title; sound justice.
  • Unbroken and deep; undisturbed: said of sleep.
  • Thorough; complete; hearty.
  • Of financial condition, solvent; strong; not undermined by loss or waste: as, that bank is one of our soundest institutions.
  • Synonyms Hearty, hale, hardy, vigorous.
  • Entire, unbroken, undecayed.
  • 5 and
  • Sane, rational, sensible.
  • n. Safety.
  • To heal; make sound.
  • To become sound; heal.
  • Soundly; heartily; thoroughly; deeply: now used only of sleeping.
  • To measure the depth of; fathom; try or test, as the depth of water and the quality of the ground, by sinking a plummet or lead attached to a line on which is marked the number of fathoms.
  • In surgery, to examine by means of a sound or probe, especially the bladder, in order to ascertain whether a stone is present or not.
  • Figuratively, to try; examine; discover, or endeavor to discover, that which is concealed in the mind of; search out the intention, opinion, will, or wish of.
  • To ascertain the depth of (water) in a ship's hold by lowering a sounding-rod into the pumpwell.
  • To make a sounding with, or carry down in sounding, as a whale the tow-line of a boat.
  • To use the line and lead in searching the depth of water.
  • To descend to the bottom; dive: said of fish and other marine animals.
  • To produce vibrations affecting the ear; cause the sensation of sound; make a noise; produce a sound; also, to strike the organs of hearing with a particular effect; produce a specified audible effect: as, the wind sounds melancholy.
  • To cause something (as an instrument) to sound; make music.
  • To seem or appear when uttered; appear on narration: as, a statement that sounds like a fiction.
  • To be conveyed in sound; be spread or published.
  • To tend; incline.
  • To resound.
  • To cause to produce sound; set in audible vibration.
  • To utter audibly; pronounce; hence, to speak; express; repeat.
  • To order or direct by a sound; give a signal for by a certain sound: as, to sound a retreat.
  • To spread by sound or report; publish or proclaim; celebrate or honor by sounds.
  • To signify; import.
  • To examine by percussion, as a wall in order to discover hollow places or studding; specifically, in med., to examine by percussion and auscultation, in order to form a diagnosis by means of sounds heard: as, to sound the lungs.
  • An obsolete or dialectal contracted form of swound, swoon.
  • n. A narrow passage of water not a stream, as a strait between the mainland and an isle, or a strait connecting two seas, or connecting a sea or lake with the ocean: as, Long Island Sound; the Sound (between Denmark and Sweden).
  • n. In zoöl: The swimming-bladder or air-bladder of a fish.
  • n. A cuttlefish.
  • n. In surgery any elongated instrument, usually metallic, by which cavities of the body are sounded or explored; a probe; specifically, an instrument used for exploring or dilating the urethra, or for searching the bladder for stone.
  • n. The sensation produced through the ear, or organ of hearing; in the physical sense, either the vibrations of the sounding-body itself, or those of the air or other medium, which are caused by the sounding-body, and which immediately affect the ear.
  • n. A particular quality or character of tone, producing a certain effect on the hearer, or suggesting a particular cause; tone; note: as, a joyful sound; a sound of woe.
  • n. Vocal utterance.
  • n. Hearing-distance; ear-shot.
  • n. Empty and unmeaning noise.
  • n. Same as signal, 2.
  • n. Synonyms Noise, Sound, Tone. Noise is that effect upon the ears which does not convey, and is not meant to convey, any meaning: as, the noise made by a falling chimney; street noises. Sound is a general word, covering noise and intelligible impressions upon the auditory nerves: as, the sound of cannon, of hoofs, of a trumpet of prayer. Tone is sound regarded as having a definite place on the musical scale, or as modified by feeling or physical affections, or as being the distinctive quality of sound possessed by a person or thing permanently or temporarily: as, his tones were those of anger; a piano of peculiarly rich tone. For technical distinctions, see def. 1 above, noise, and tone.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a narrow channel of the sea joining two larger bodies of water
  • adj. exercising or showing good judgment
  • n. the sudden occurrence of an audible event
  • adj. (of sleep) deep and complete
  • v. cause to sound
  • v. appear in a certain way
  • adj. having legal efficacy or force
  • n. a large ocean inlet or deep bay
  • n. the subjective sensation of hearing something
  • n. (phonetics) an individual sound unit of speech without concern as to whether or not it is a phoneme of some language
  • v. give off a certain sound or sounds
  • n. mechanical vibrations transmitted by an elastic medium
  • adj. free from moral defect
  • n. the particular auditory effect produced by a given cause
  • adj. financially secure and safe
  • adj. in excellent physical condition
  • v. announce by means of a sound
  • v. utter with vibrating vocal chords
  • adj. in good condition; free from defect or damage or decay
  • adj. thorough
  • n. the audible part of a transmitted signal
  • v. make a certain noise or sound
  • adj. logically valid
  • v. measure the depth of (a body of water) with a sounding line

Etymologies

Middle English soun, from Old French son, from Latin sonus; see swen- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English, from Old English gesund.
Middle English, from Old English sund, swimming, sea.
Middle English sounden, from Old French sonder, from sonde, sounding line, probably of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English sound, sund, isund, ȝesund, from Old English sund, ġesund ("sound, safe, whole, uninjured, healthy, prosperous"), from Proto-Germanic *gasundaz, *sundaz (“healthy”), from Proto-Indo-European *sunt-, *swent- (“vigorous, active, healthy”). Cognate with Scots sound, soun ("healthy, sound"), Saterland Frisian suund, gesuund ("healthy"), West Frisian sûn ("healthy"), Dutch gezond ("healthy, sound"), Low German sund, gesund ("healthy"), German gesund ("healthy, sound"), Danish sund ("healthy"), Swedish sund ("sound, healthy"), Irish fétaid ("to be able"). Related also to German geschwind ("fast, quick"), Old English swīþ ("strong, mighty, powerful, active, severe, violent"). See swith. (Wiktionary)
Old English sund (Wiktionary)
Middle English sounden, from Old French sonder, from sonde ("sounding line") of Germanic origin, compare Old English sundgyrd ("a sounding rod"), sundline ("a sounding line"), Old English sund ("water", "sea"). More at Etymology 3 above (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • JM reckons that what most politicians say is sound. Just sound!

    July 4, 2011

  • I forgot this is one of the etymological curiosities - wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

    October 17, 2010

  • Three or four distinct roots. (1) The senses "noise" and "make noise" are from French (Latin son-) with excrescent -d appearing in English in the 1400s. (2) The adjective "healthy" is Germanic. (3) So is the noun "strait, channel", related to 'swim' (sumd- assimilating to sund-). (4) The sense "plumb to ascertain depth" is from French but is probably ultimately taken from the previous water sense. The idiom 'sound someone out' comes from this, not from the use of voice.

    March 16, 2009

  • Also a noun having to do with hearing.

    November 29, 2007