Definitions

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

  • n. A soft, whispering or rustling sound; a murmur.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. : a low, indistinct continuous whispering sound; a murmur

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A whispering; a soft murmur.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A whispering; a soft murmur.

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

  • n. speaking softly without vibration of the vocal cords
  • n. the indistinct sound of people whispering

Etymologies

Middle English susurracioun, from Late Latin susurrātiō, susurrātiōn-, from Latin susurrātus, past participle of susurrāre, to whisper, from susurrus, whisper, ultimately of imitative origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Cave honors his own definition with songs that truly "resonate with the susurration of sorrow, tintinnabulation of grief" like "Straight to You", "Nobody's Baby Now", and the slayer "Into My Arms".

    Tamsin Smith: Sketches of Spain

  •  The clutter upstairs seemed rearranged in some maddeningly imperceptible way, and it, too, had its own noise, which alternated between a susurration and a high-pitched buzz.

    The Secret Animal

  • It was the susurration of voices the Doctor noticed first.

    YW? coming along

  • But the dead only fed the living and each morning when the people woke it was to the scraping and beating of wings, the murmurous susurration, the awful cooing babble, and the sight, to those who still possessed intact windows, of the curious and gentle faces of those creatures.

    Excerpt: The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich

  • The susurration of multiple overlapping conversations reverberated off the walls.

    Star Trek: Myriad Universes: Shattered Light

  • That ocean, Bowman realized, must be very shallow; even if there was no dry land, there must be many reefs almost breaking the surface, to produce that endless susurration.

    Tin

  • That and the susurration of the river made Jason jeez.

    Inroads

  • The bones touched signs, and the signs whispered and murmured, in a low susurration that did not resolve into speech.

    Wildfire

  • Mr Jenkins may feel this compromise results in “a susurration of platitudes”.

    Archive 2007-05-01

  • The crowds were cheering as Senator Clinton made her way on stage - there were Hillary fans there, without a doubt – but as the evening progressed and the excitement died down to a mere susurration of enthusiasm, with candidates gone and guests slowly filtering out, what remained behind, trampled, bent, and forgotten, was a plethora of Hillary signs, in garbage cans and on the floor.

    Hope-Storm on the Horizon

Comments

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  • I think it's onomatopoeic.

    June 6, 2011

  • This is Terry Pratchett's favourite word.

    April 9, 2009

  • I always thought of it in terms of a heartbeat.

    March 21, 2009

  • I usually see this word referring to the sound of the wind in tree leaves. I didn't realize it implied whispered language. How poetic. <3

    February 28, 2008