Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To make a soft murmuring or rustling sound.
  • n. A soft murmuring or rustling sound, as of the wind or a gentle surf.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make a soft rustling or murmuring sound.
  • n. A rushing, rustling sound.
  • n. A sigh.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A sow.
  • n. A small drain; an adit.
  • n. The sound produced by soughing; a hollow murmur or roaring.
  • n. Hence, a vague rumor or flying report.
  • n. A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying.
  • intransitive v. To whistle or sigh, as the wind.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • n. A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • n. Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • n. A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
  • n. A channel.
  • n. A drain; a sewer; an adit of a mine.
  • n. An obsolete form of sow.

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

  • v. make a murmuring sound

Etymologies

Middle English swowen, soughen, from Old English swōgan.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English swōgan, from Proto-Germanic *swōganan. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The word sough, now pronounced suff, was formerly called sow; whence the iron fused and received into a sough acquired the name of sowmetal; and that received into less soughs from the former one obtained the name of pigs of iron or of lead; from the pun on the word sough, into sow and pigs.

    The Temple of Nature; or, the Origin of Society A Poem, with Philosophical Notes

  • The word sough, now pronounced suff, was formerly called sow; whence the iron fused and received into a sough acquired the name of sowmetal; and that received into less soughs from the former one obtained the name of pigs of iron or of lead; from the pull on the word sough, into sow and pigs.

    Note XV

  • Over and over the same round his thoughts went, till, worn out with anxiety and watching, and lulled unconsciously by the soft "sough" of the wind in the pines, he fell asleep.

    David Fleming's Forgiveness

  • Whether they sounded their strange note was not known, for the "sough" of the waterfall still echoed in the ears of the canoe-men, and they could not hear aught else.

    Popular Adventure Tales

  • Whether they sounded their strange note was not known, for the "sough" of the waterfall still echoed in the ears of the canoemen, and they could not hear aught else.

    The Young Voyageurs Boy Hunters in the North

  • In the "sough" of the torrent, we heard their sighs -- in its roar, the groans of their departing spirits!

    The Wild Huntress Love in the Wilderness

  • I knew it was the "sough" of the sea against the sides of the vessel.

    The Boy Tar

  • There was the "sough" of the sea, as it came swelling up the gorge; the "whish" of the wind, as it impinged upon the crests of the ridges; and the "swish" of the sand as it settled round them.

    The Boy Slaves

  • Daybreak arrived without the black pilot having heard any sound, beyond that of the breeze rustling against the sail of the _Catamaran_ or the hollow "sough" of the water as it surged against the empty casks lashed along their sides.

    The Ocean Waifs A Story of Adventure on Land and Sea

  • As the sailor terminated his speech with this terrible emphasis, he started into an upright attitude, and listened with all his ears for another utterance of that harsh monotone that, borne upon the breeze and rising above the "sough" of the disturbed water, could easily be distinguished as the _voice of a man_.

    The Ocean Waifs A Story of Adventure on Land and Sea

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