Definition of sound verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//saʊnd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//saʊnd//
    (not usually used in the progressive tenses)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they sound
    BrE BrE//saʊnd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//saʊnd//
    he / she / it sounds
    BrE BrE//saʊndz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//saʊndz//
    past simple sounded
    BrE BrE//ˈsaʊndɪd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsaʊndɪd//
    past participle sounded
    BrE BrE//ˈsaʊndɪd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsaʊndɪd//
    -ing form sounding
    BrE BrE//ˈsaʊndɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsaʊndɪŋ//
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    give impression
  1. 1  linking verb to give a particular impression when heard or read about + adj. His voice sounded strange on the phone. She didn't sound surprised when I told her the news. His explanation sounds reasonable to me. Leo made it sound so easy. But it wasn't. He doesn’t sound French—and he doesn’t look it. + noun She sounds just the person we need for the job. sound like somebody/something You sounded just like your father when you said that. sound as if/as though… I hope I don’t sound as if/as though I’m criticizing you. In spoken English people often use like instead of as if or as though, especially in North American English, but this is not considered correct in written British English.
  2. -sounding
  3. 2(in adjectives) giving the impression of having a particular sound an Italian-sounding name fine-sounding words
  4. produce sound
  5. 3[intransitive, transitive] to produce a sound; to make something such as a musical instrument produce a sound The bell sounded for the end of the class. (British English) sound something Passing motorists sounded their horns in support.
  6. give warning/signal
  7. 4  [transitive] sound something to give a signal such as a warning by making a sound When I saw the smoke, I tried to sound the alarm. (figurative) Scientists have sounded a note of caution on the technique. Leaving him out of the team may sound the death knell for our chances of winning (= signal the end of our chances).
  8. pronounce
  9. 5[transitive] sound something (specialist) to pronounce something You don't sound the ‘b’ in the word ‘comb’.
  10. measure depth
  11. 6[transitive, intransitive] sound (something) (specialist) to measure the depth of the sea or a lake by using a line with a weight attached, or an electronic instrument
  12. Word Originverb senses 1 to 5 and sound off. Middle English soun, from Anglo-Norman French soun (noun), suner (verb), from Latin sonus. The form with -d was established in the 16th cent. sound somebody out/​sound something out. Middle English: from Old English gesund, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch gezond and German gesund. verb sense 6 late Middle English: from Old French sonder, based on Latin sub- ‘below’ + unda ‘wave’.Extra examples He doesn’t sound French—and he doesn’t look it. Her explanation sounds reasonable to me. I hope I don’t sound as if I’m criticizing you. Leo made it sound so easy. But it wasn’t. She sounds like just the person we need for the job. An alarm sounded two minutes after midnight. At that moment the dinner gong sounded. The bell sounded for the end of class.Idioms
    look/sound suspiciously like something
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    (often humorous) to be very similar to something Their latest single sounds suspiciously like the last one.
    sound/strike a note (of something)
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    to express feelings or opinions of a particular kind She sounded a note of warning in her speech. The touch of cynicism struck a slightly sour note.
    (it) sounds like a plan to me
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    (especially North American English) used to agree to a suggestion that you think is good
    Phrasal Verbssound off (about something)sound out somebody
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sound