Share this entry

background noise Line breaks: back|ground noise

Definition of background noise in English:


[mass noun]
1Extraneous sound which can be heard while listening to or monitoring other sounds: the background noise overwhelms any dialogue
More example sentences
  • If you have a bad location, with cramped, poorly lit rooms, with lots of background noise, it's unlikely that any learning will take place.
  • Audiences are brought into the story by the realistic, everyday distraction of background noise, including a ringing phone and traffic.
  • Some of the dialogue can be hard to hear because of the background noises or music.
1.1A person or thing considered to be irrelevant or incidental to the main issue or situation: she is nothing but background noise in the story it’s the basics that make our lives meaningful, the rest is just background noise
More example sentences
  • For the immigrants themselves, much of this rhetoric is just background noise.
  • Really, though, the wedding preparation is just background noise.
  • These events are merely background noise compared to the nuanced consideration of the personal lives and family history deeply imbedded within this chaos.

Definition of background noise in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources