Sense: 1-5
Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: soner, from Latin sonare, from sonus; SOUND1
Sense: 7
Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: sonder, from sonde 'line for measuring the depth of water'


2 verb
sound2 S1 W2


[linking verb] if something or someone sounds good, bad, strange etc, that is how they seem to you when you hear about them or read about them
sound adj
Istanbul sounds really exciting.
The whole story sounded very odd.
$80 sounds about right for a decent hotel room.
sound noun British English
That sounds a good idea.
sound like
Nick sounds like a nice guy.
it sounds as if/as though
It sounds to me as if he needs professional help.
it sounds like informal:
It sounds like you had a good time on your trip.
I'll come over to Richmond and take you out for dinner. How does that sound? (=used to ask someone what they think of your suggestion)
faraway places with strange-sounding names


[linking verb] if a noise sounds like a particular thing, that is how it seems to you when you hear it
sound like
To Thomas, her laugh sounded horribly like a growl.
I heard what sounded like fireworks.
sound adj
Her breathing sounded very loud.
(it) sounds as if/as though
The banging sounded as if it was coming from next door.
(it) sounds like informal:
It sounds like the dog wants to be let out.


[linking verb] if someone sounds tired, happy, sad etc, that is how they seem to you when you hear their voice
sound adj
Are you okay? You sound tired.
Josie didn't sound very keen when I spoke to her.
Her voice sounded very young.
sound as if/as though
You sound as if you've got a cold.
sound like informal:
She sounded like she'd been crying.
sound like
You sound just like my mother (=the things you say, opinions you express etc are just like the things my mother says).
see usage note seem


[transitive] to publicly give a warning or tell people to be careful:
Several earlier studies had sounded similar warnings.
sound a note of caution/warning
I would, however, sound a note of caution.
Now it is an American economist who is sounding the alarm.

make a noise

[intransitive and transitive] if something such as a horn or bell sounds, or if you sound it, it makes a noise:
The bell sounded for dinner.
Sound your horn to warn other drivers.
She was unable to sound the alarm.


[transitive usually passive] technicalSL to make the sound of a letter in a word:
The 's' in 'island' is not sounded.

measure depth

[transitive] technicalTMHEO to measure the depth of the sea, a lake etc [↪ soundings]

sound off

phrasal verb
1 informal to express strong opinions about something, especially when you complain angrily in a way that other people find rude or boring
sound off about
She's always sounding off about too much sex in the media.
He should check his facts before sounding off.
2 American EnglishPMA if soldiers sound off, they shout out numbers or their names to show that they are there

sound somebody/something ↔ out

phrasal verb
to talk to someone in order to find out what they think about a plan or idea:
He sounded people out and found the responses favourable.
They want to sound out his opinion before they approach him formally.
sound somebody/something ↔ out about
I wanted to sound her out about a job.

seem, appear, look, sound
Seem and appear have the same meaning but appear is more formal They seem upset. This appears to be a good solution.You use look to say how someone or something seems to you when you look at them Maureen looked tired. That book looks good. You use sound to say how someone or something seems to you when you hear or read about them, or hear them She sounds a lovely person. The party sounded great. He sounded tired.GRAMMARSeem can be followed by an adjective or an adjective and noun She seemed happy. He seems a nice man.Seem can also be followed by a verb in the infinitive His story seems to be true. You seem to think it's my fault.!! Seem can be followed by as if or as though but not just by as It seems a small thing (NOT it seems as a small thing), but it's very important. It seemed as if he wanted us to leave (NOT it seemed as he wanted ...).See also seem