from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of or relating to sound, the sense of hearing, or the science of sound.
  • adjective Designed to carry sound or to aid in hearing.
  • adjective Designed to absorb or control sound.
  • adjective Of or being an instrument that does not produce or enhance sound electronically.
  • adjective Being a performance that features such instruments.
  • noun An acoustic instrument.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pertaining to the sense or organs of hearing, or to the science of sound.
  • Same as acousmatic.
  • noun In medicine, a remedy for deafness or imperfect hearing.
  • noun Same as acousmatic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Pertaining to the sense of hearing, the organs of hearing, or the science of sounds; auditory.
  • adjective the auditory duct, or external passage of the ear.
  • adjective a telegraph making audible signals; a telephone.
  • adjective brazen tubes or vessels, shaped like a bell, used in ancient theaters to propel the voices of the actors, so as to render them audible to a great distance.
  • noun A medicine or agent to assist hearing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Pertaining to the sense of hearing, the organs of hearing, or the science of sounds; auditory.
  • adjective music Naturally producing or produced by an instrument without electrical amplification, as an acoustic guitar or acoustic piano.
  • noun medicine A medicine or other agent to assist hearing.

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

  • adjective of or relating to the science of acoustics
  • noun a remedy for hearing loss or deafness


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

Greek akoustikos, pertaining to hearing, from akouein, to hear.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French acoustique, from Ancient Greek ἀκουστικός (akoustikos, "auditory").


  • Jordan has a choral singing background but prefers the term 'acoustic music' rather than 'folk' to describe her work. - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • "Villchur's development of what he called the acoustic suspension woofer made it possible for music lovers to buy loudspeakers that were domestically acceptable," Mr. Atkinson said in a 2009 interview.

    NYT > Home Page

  • "The noises generated by ships create what I call acoustic smog," said Michel Andre, director of the Laboratory of Applied Bio-Acoustics in Barcelona.

    Comments for Impact Lab

  • They have set up a long-term acoustic monitoring device on the sea floor that will pick up marine mammal calls to help track the impact on population sizes over time.

    Submerged oil plumes suggest gulf spill is worse than BP claims

  • While surveying the calls of male frogs and toads engaged in acoustic displays for females, researchers recorded approximately 5,000 boreal chorus frogs, wood frogs and western toads at 54 beaver ponds over a two-year period.

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • With that said, I worry that the report might seem more promising that it is ... in acoustic terms, reducing noise by "50%" usually just means making a noise quieter by 10dB.


  • Except for the door and soundproof window, the entire studio is lined in acoustic tile with strange Pollockian patterns of tiny holes.


  • For that reason it is frequently called the acoustic nerve ( "hear" G), or auditory nerve ( "hear" L).

    The Human Brain

  • These eerie silences were called "acoustic shadows."

    NYT > Home Page

  • On Monday, one can attend a screening of F.W. Murnau's silent horror classic "Nosferatu" at BAMcinématek in Brooklyn, with a live score by the Norwegian performer Svarte Greiner, the innovator of an ambient music subgenre called "acoustic doom."

    Playing It Unsafe at the Unsound Festival


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  • Relating to a musical instrument whose sound is not electronically changed. John Lennon played an acoustic guitar. (newbury dic.)

    December 6, 2010