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[noiz] /nɔɪz/
sound, especially of a loud, harsh, or confused kind:
deafening noises.
a sound of any kind:
to hear a noise at the door.
loud shouting, outcry, or clamor.
a nonharmonious or discordant group of sounds.
an electric disturbance in a communications system that interferes with or prevents reception of a signal or of information, as the buzz on a telephone or snow on a television screen.
Informal. extraneous, irrelevant, or meaningless facts, information, statistics, etc.:
The noise in the report obscured its useful information.
Obsolete. rumor or gossip, especially slander.
verb (used with object), noised, noising.
to spread, as a report or rumor; disseminate (usually followed by about or abroad):
A new scandal is being noised about.
verb (used without object), noised, noising.
to talk much or publicly.
to make a noise, outcry, or clamor.
make noises, Informal. to speak vaguely; hint:
He is making noises to the press about running for public office.
Origin of noise
1175-1225; Middle English < Old French < Latin nausea seasickness. See nausea
Related forms
unnoised, adjective
1. clatter, blare, uproar, tumult. Noise, clamor, din, hubbub, racket refer to unmusical or confused sounds. Noise is the general word and is applied equally to soft or loud, confused or inharmonious sounds: street noises. Clamor and hubbub are alike in referring to loud noises resulting from shouting, cries, animated or excited tones, and the like; but in clamor the emphasis is on the meaning of the shouting, and in hubbub the emphasis is on the confused mingling of sounds: the clamor of an angry crowd; His voice could be heard above the hubbub. Din suggests a loud, resonant noise, painful if long continued: the din of a boiler works. Racket suggests a loud, confused noise of the kind produced by clatter or percussion: He always makes a racket when he cleans up the dishes. 2. See sound1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for make noises
Historical Examples
  • I call them Tristan and Isolde because they make noises in the night.

    Visionaries James Huneker
  • She had begun to make noises too, a modified hooting more like a pigeon's call.

    The Stars, My Brothers Edmond Hamilton
  • Five babies at different stages of refractoriness are sprawling about on this strip of floor; they make noises all the time.

    Things as They Are Amy Wilson-Carmichael
  • So men are hired to act as scarecrows and make noises to frighten the birds away.

    Our Little Japanese Cousin Mary Hazelton Wade
  • A singer will start at the wrong time, will for a whole verse, perhaps, make noises in a different key; the pianist never fails.

    A Padre in France George A. Birmingham
  • I used to make noises, keeping one hand on my throat while the other hand felt the movements of my lips.

    Story of My Life Helen Keller
  • Even Andy, whose brain rarely ever stopped working, began to make noises like a tennis cabinet.

  • He shuffled towards her, put his arms round her, and began to make noises as if he was in pain.

    Furze the Cruel John Trevena
  • They make noises when they wish to excite the attention of those who have not the gift of seeing them.

  • He can only make noises, and cry, and drink, and slither about in his bath like a piece of wet soap.

    The Lee Shore Rose Macaulay
British Dictionary definitions for make noises


a sound, esp one that is loud or disturbing
loud shouting; clamour; din
any undesired electrical disturbance in a circuit, degrading the useful information in a signal See also signal-to-noise ratio
undesired or irrelevant elements in a visual image: removing noise from pictures
talk or interest: noise about strikes
(pl) conventional comments or sounds conveying a reaction, attitude, feeling, etc: she made sympathetic noises
make a noise, to talk a great deal or complain
(informal) make noises about, to give indications of one's intentions: the government is making noises about new social security arrangements
(theatre) noises off, sounds made offstage intended for the ears of the audience: used as a stage direction
(transitive; usually foll by abroad or about) to spread (news, gossip, etc)
(intransitive) (rare) to talk loudly or at length
(intransitive) (rare) to make a din or outcry; be noisy
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Latin: nausea
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for make noises



early 13c., "loud outcry, clamor, shouting," from Old French noise "din, disturbance, uproar, brawl" (11c., in modern French only in phrase chercher noise "to pick a quarrel"), also "rumor, report, news," apparently from Latin nausea "disgust, annoyance, discomfort," literally "seasickness" (see nausea).

Another theory traces the Old French word to Latin noxia "hurting, injury, damage." OED considers that "the sense of the word is against both suggestions," but nausea could have developed a sense in Vulgar Latin of "unpleasant situation, noise, quarrel" (cf. Old Provençal nauza "noise, quarrel"). Meaning "loud or unpleasant sound" is from c.1300. Replaced native gedyn (see din).


late 14c., "to praise; to talk loudly about," from noise (n.). Related: Noised; noising.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for make noises

make noises

verb phrase

  1. To express oneself; speak, esp initially and somewhat vaguely: The Russians began to make noises about leaving
  2. To talk insincerely or uselessly: Do they mean it, or are they making noises? (1951+)



  1. Empty talk; meaningless verbiage; bluster: That press release is plain noise (1940s+)
  2. Heroin (1920s+ Narcotics)

Related Terms

big noise, make noises

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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