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[suh-nawr-uh s, -nohr-, son-er-uh s] /səˈnɔr əs, -ˈnoʊr-, ˈsɒn ər əs/
giving out or capable of giving out a sound, especially a deep, resonant sound, as a thing or place:
a sonorous cavern.
loud, deep, or resonant, as a sound.
rich and full in sound, as language or verse.
high-flown; grandiloquent:
a sonorous speech.
Origin of sonorous
1605-15; < Latin sonōrus noisy, sounding, equivalent to sonōr-, stem of sonor sound (son(āre) to sound1 + -or -or1) + -us -ous
Related forms
sonorously, adverb
sonorousness, noun
multisonorous, adjective
multisonorously, adverb
multisonorousness, noun
unsonorous, adjective
unsonorously, adverb
unsonorousness, noun
4. eloquent, florid, grandiose, orotund. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sonorous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The young man's voice came with a sonorous firmness that was new to it.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Her perfect health, and all her love of life, rang out in this sonorous gaiety.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • In the sonorous emptiness of the place, there ensued a heated discussion.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • His voice is sweet and sonorous, his eyes are bright with intellect.

  • The solemnity of the sonorous exhortation was water in her ears.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
British Dictionary definitions for sonorous


/səˈnɔːrəs; ˈsɒnərəs/
producing or capable of producing sound
(of language, sound, etc) deep or resonant
(esp of speech) high-flown; grandiloquent
Derived Forms
sonority (səˈnɒrɪtɪ) noun
sonorously, adverb
sonorousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin sonōrus loud, from sonor a noise
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 sonorous

1610s, from Latin sonorus "resounding," from sonor "sound, noise," from sonare "to sound" (see sonata). Related: Sonorously; sonorousness. Earlier was sonouse (c.1500), from Medieval Latin sonosus; sonourse "having a pleasing voice" (c.1400), from sonor + -y (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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