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

  • n. A sensory system in certain animals, such as bats and dolphins, in which usually high-pitched sounds are emitted and their echoes interpreted to determine the direction and distance of objects.
  • n. Electronics A process for determining the location of objects by emitting sound waves and analyzing the waves reflected back to the sender by the object.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The use of echoes to detect objects as observed in bats and other natural creatures. Also known as biosonar.

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

  • n. determining the location of something by measuring the time it takes for an echo to return from it


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The fact that you can use the word echolocation in such a casually appropriate and witty way in your blog post...well, it makes me want to squee! squee!

    The WritingYA Weblog: Echolocation in the International Year of the Bat

  • The incredible change, his mother said, is owed to a technique called echolocation, similar to the method used by dolphins and bats, that allows Lucas to paint a picture of his surroundings using sound he creates himself.

    echolocation for the blind | clusterflock

  • Bats use a process called echolocation to locate and catch prey.

    The Field Guide to Wildlife Habitats of the Eastern United States

  • This is called echolocation, and we should not be surprised that bats have such large ears in relation to their overall size.

    The Human Brain

  • He makes short, sharp clicking sounds with his tongue and mouth, and is able to translate the slight echoes that are returned into a spatial representation of a curb, a fence or a sofa - a technique called echolocation that he taught to himself.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • Daniel Kish, who has no sight in either eye, sees through a process called echolocation.

    NYDN Rss

  • Whales communicate through a process called echolocation, which basically means they emit a sound and listens for the echos for navigation as well as communication between other whales. Antenna

  • In 1989, Pinker and a graduate student named Paul Bloom wrote a paper in which they argued that “language is no different from other complex abilities, such as echolocation or stereopsis,” and that “the only way to explain the origin of such abilities is through the theory of natural selection.”

    The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language

  • see the area around them and to track down and capture flying insects by listening to the echoes a skill known as echolocation.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Unless they have some kind of echolocation mechanism. "

    Flinx In Flux


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  • And here I thought Wordie was soundproof.

    February 6, 2009

  • Hey, this shit works.

    February 6, 2009

  • -ello, -llo, -lo, -o... you are somewhere in Australia.

    February 6, 2009

  • Hello.

    February 6, 2009

  • I have decided maybe I like tonocation; now what is the liguistics term for dropping a middle syllable, in this case lo?

    July 26, 2007

  • Thanks, palooka, this is a word well worth pilfering.

    Now, I wonder what word this could spawn to describe the process of looking for a cell phone by dialing its number.

    July 26, 2007