Definition of noise in English:

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Pronunciation: /nɔɪz/


1A sound, especially one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes disturbance: making a noise like a pig what’s that rustling noise outside the door?
More example sentences
  • Science is showing that these booming sounds and other loud noises are harming and even killing marine life.
  • The two of them walked towards the back and Gianni flung open the door to Vito's room as a loud noise came from outside.
  • She was cut short when we heard a loud noise outside.
1.1 [mass noun] A series or combination of loud, confused sounds, especially when causing disturbance: she was dazed with the heat and noise vibration and noise from traffic
More example sentences
  • They say the venue is inappropriate and raise fears the event will cause suffering to the deer, loud noise and traffic chaos.
  • The background music is played at an unobtrusive level and there is little or no traffic noise to disturb you.
  • There have been widespread complaints from neighbours over loud noise and the extra traffic on a narrow country road.
1.2 (noises) Conventional remarks made to express something: the government made tough noises about defending sterling
More example sentences
  • It traditionally makes critical noises but usually avoids using its veto power.
  • A group of people sitting on the banks of the Todd start shouting at him and making threatening noises.
  • Though the animals could not understand his words, they heard the derision in his tone and responded with offended noises of their own.
2 [mass noun] technical Irregular fluctuations that accompany a transmitted electrical signal but are not part of it and tend to obscure it: the enhancer can improve the video signal quality, reducing noise and increasing image sharpness
More example sentences
  • Placing them between the transmitter and the antenna reduces broadband noise and other spurious signals radiated by the transmitter.
  • This can often create a lot of noise, reducing the quality of image obtainable.
  • GPS receivers don't yet work well indoors where electrical wiring and other noise can interfere with their faint signals.
2.1Random fluctuations that obscure or do not contain meaningful data or other information: over half the magnitude of the differences came from noise in the data
More example sentences
  • If we turn to constraints that contain random noise, the information content decreases further.
  • The separation was robust against the fluctuation caused by random noise.
  • This statistical outlier apparently represented important information rather than noise.


1 [with object] (usually be noised about) Talk about or make known publicly: you’ve discovered something that should not be noised about
More example sentences
  • But now I must ask you not to noise it about to anyone.
2 [no object] Make much noise: rook, crow and jackdaw—noising loud


make a noise

Speak or act in a way designed to attract a lot of attention or publicity: he knows how to make a noise and claim police harassment
More example sentences
  • It is understandable that he should recognise that it is easier to make a noise and win some superficial public recognition on a celebrity game show than in the Commons.
  • Oddly, instead of boldly making a noise about its intentions, unexpected popularity made the Government proceed with caution and too many over-the-shoulder glances.
  • ‘I think this review is just something they've come up with because we've been making a noise,’ said the man, who does not want to be identified.


Middle English (also in the sense 'quarrelling'): from Old French, from Latin nausea 'seasickness' (see nausea).

  • nausea from Late Middle English:

    Nausea originally meant ‘seasickness’ and is based on the Greek word naus, ‘ship’ also the source of the English word nautical (mid 16th century). Noise (Middle English) also comes from nausea—as it developed through Latin and early French, nausea took on a series of meanings that went from ‘seasickness’ to ‘upset, malaise’, and ‘disturbance, uproar’, and so to ‘noise’, which was the word's spelling and meaning when it first appeared in medieval English.

Words that rhyme with noise

avoirdupois, poise

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: noise

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