• Noise


    • enPR: noiz, IPA: /nɔɪz/
    • Rhymes: -ɔɪz


    From Middle English, from Old French noise ("a dispute, wrangle, strife, noise"); origin uncertain; according to some, from Latin nausea ("disgust, nausea"); according to others, from Latin noxia ("hurt, harm, damage, injury"); but neither explanation is satisfactory in regard to either form or sense.

    Full definition of noise



    (plural noises)
    1. Various sounds, usually unwanted.
      He knew that it was trash day, when the garbage collectors made all the noise.
      • Francis Bacon (1561-1626)The heavens turn about in a most rapid motion without noise to us perceived.
      • 1959, Georgette Heyer, The Unknown Ajax Chapter 1, Charles had not been employed above six months at Darracott Place, but he was not such a whopstraw as to make the least noise in the performance of his duties when his lordship was out of humour.
    2. Sound or signal generated by random fluctuations.
    3. (technology) Unwanted part of a signal. (Signal to noise ratio)
    4. (genetics) The measured level of variation in gene expression among cells, regardless of source, within a supposedly identical population.
    5. Rumour or complaint.
      The problems with the new computer system are causing a lot of noise at Head Office.
      • T. BakerWhat noise have we had about transplantation of diseases and transfusion of blood!
      • SpectatorSocrates lived in Athens during the great plague which has made so much noise in all ages.
    6. (obsolete) Music, in general; a concert; also, a company of musicians; a band.
      • Ben Jonson (1572-1637)The king has his noise of gypsies.

    Derived terms




    1. (intransitive) To make a noise; to sound.
    2. (transitive) To spread news of; to spread as rumor or gossip.
      • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Acts II:When this was noysed aboute, the multitude cam togedder and were astonyed, because that every man herde them speake in his awne tongue.


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