sound (n.1)

"noise, what is heard, sensation produced through the ear," late 13c., soun, from Old French son "sound, musical note, voice," from Latin sonus "sound, a noise," from PIE *swon-o-, from root *swen- "to sound."

The unetymological -d was established c. 1350-1550 as part of a tendency to add -d- after -n-. Compare gender (n.), thunder (n.), jaundice (n.), spindle, kindred, riband, and, from French powder (n.), meddle, tender (adj.), remainder, dialectal rundel, rundle for runnel, etc. First record of sound barrier is from 1939. Sound check is from 1977; sound effect is 1909, originally live accompaniment to silent films.

The experts of Victor ... will ... arrange for the synchronized orchestration and sound effects for this picture, in which airplane battles will have an important part. [Exhibitor's Herald & Moving Picture World, April 28, 1928]

sound (adj.)

"free from special defect or injury," c. 1200, from Old English gesund "sound, safe, having the organs and faculties complete and in perfect action," from Proto-Germanic *sunda-, from Germanic root *swen-to- "healthy, strong" (source also of Old Saxon gisund, Old Frisian sund, Dutch gezond, Old High German gisunt, German gesund "healthy," as in the post-sneezing interjection gesundheit; also Old English swið "strong," Gothic swinþs "strong," German geschwind "fast, quick"), with connections in Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic. Meaning "right, correct, free from error" is from mid-15c. Meaning "financially solid or safe" is attested from c. 1600; of sleep, "undisturbed," from 1540s. Sense of "holding accepted opinions" is from 1520s.

sound (v.2)

"fathom, probe, measure the depth of," mid-14c. (implied in sounding), from Old French sonder, from sonde "sounding line," perhaps from the same Germanic source that yielded Old English sund "water, sea" (see sound (n.2)). Barnhart dismisses the old theory that it is from Latin subundare. Figurative use from 1570s.

sound (n.2)

"narrow channel of water," c. 1300, from Old Norse sund "a strait, swimming," or from cognate Old English sund "act of swimming, stretch of water one can swim across, a strait of the sea," both from Proto-Germanic *sundam-, from *swum-to-, suffixed form of Germanic root *swem- "to move, stir, swim" (see swim (v.)).

sound (v.1)

early 13c., sounen "to be audible, produce vibrations affecting the ear," from Old French soner (Modern French sonner) and directly from Latin sonare "to sound, make a noise" (from PIE root *swen- "to sound"). From late 14c. as "cause something (an instrument, etc.) to produce sound." Related: Sounded; sounding.

updated on October 22, 2021

Definitions of sound from WordNet
sound (adj.)
financially secure and safe;
a sound economy
sound investments
sound (adj.)
exercising or showing good judgment;
no sound explanation for his decision
sound advice
a sound approach to the problem
Synonyms: healthy / intelligent / levelheaded / level-headed
sound (adj.)
in good condition; free from defect or damage or decay;
a sound foundation
the wall is sound
a sound timber
sound (adj.)
in excellent physical condition;
a sound mind in a sound body
Synonyms: good
sound (adj.)
logically valid;
a sound argument
Synonyms: reasoned / well-grounded
sound (adj.)
having legal efficacy or force;
a sound title to the property
Synonyms: legal / effectual
sound (adj.)
vigorous or severe;
a sound thrashing
sound (adj.)
free from moral defect;
a man of sound character
sound (adj.)
(of sleep) deep and complete;
a sound sleeper
Synonyms: heavy / profound / wakeless
sound (adj.)
complete; thorough;
politicians have no sound grasp of technology issues
he has a sound understanding of the law
sound (n.)
the particular auditory effect produced by a given cause;
the beautiful sound of music
the sound of rain on the roof
sound (n.)
the subjective sensation of hearing something;
he strained to hear the faint sounds
Synonyms: auditory sensation
sound (n.)
mechanical vibrations transmitted by an elastic medium;
falling trees make a sound in the forest even when no one is there to hear them
sound (n.)
the sudden occurrence of an audible event;
the sound awakened them
sound (n.)
the audible part of a transmitted signal;
Synonyms: audio
sound (n.)
(phonetics) an individual sound unit of speech without concern as to whether or not it is a phoneme of some language;
Synonyms: phone / speech sound
sound (n.)
a narrow channel of the sea joining two larger bodies of water;
Synonyms: strait
sound (n.)
a large ocean inlet or deep bay;
the main body of the sound ran parallel to the coast
sound (v.)
appear in a certain way;
This sounds interesting
sound (v.)
make a certain noise or sound;
Synonyms: go
sound (v.)
give off a certain sound or sounds;
This record sounds scratchy
sound (v.)
announce by means of a sound;
sound the alarm
sound (v.)
utter with vibrating vocal chords;
Synonyms: voice / vocalize / vocalise
sound (v.)
cause to sound;
sound the bell
sound a certain note
sound (v.)
measure the depth of (a body of water) with a sounding line;
Synonyms: fathom
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.