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[uhl-truh-son-ik] /ˌʌl trəˈsɒn ɪk/
of, relating to, or utilizing ultrasound.
Origin of ultrasonic
First recorded in 1925-30; ultra- + sonic
Related forms
ultrasonically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ultrasonic
Historical Examples
  • Immediately, the ultrasonic paralyzers of the advancing paratimers went into action, and the mercenaries began dropping.

    Temple Trouble Henry Beam Piper
  • The Guide aimed quickly and pressed the trigger of the ultrasonic stunner.

    Hunter Patrol Henry Beam Piper and John J. McGuire
  • Has an ultrasonic dishwasher underneath, and it does some cooking on top, at the back.

    Space Viking Henry Beam Piper
  • From it projected the barrels of two kinds of weapons—explosive and ultrasonic.

    Rip Foster in Ride the Gray Planet

    Harold Leland Goodwin
British Dictionary definitions for ultrasonic


of, concerned with, or producing waves with the same nature as sound waves but frequencies above audio frequencies See also ultrasound
Derived Forms
ultrasonically, adverb
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 ultrasonic

1923, "having frequency beyond the audible range," from ultra- + sonic. For sense, see supersonic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ultrasonic in Medicine

ultrasonic ul·tra·son·ic (ŭl'trə-sŏn'ĭk)

  1. Of or relating to acoustic frequencies above the range audible to the human ear, or above approximately 20,000 hertz.

  2. Of, relating to, or involving ultrasound.

ul'tra·son'i·cal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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ultrasonic in Science
  1. Sound whose frequency is above the upper limit of the range of human hearing (approximately 20 kilohertz).

  2. See ultrasonography.

  3. An image produced by ultrasonography.

ultrasonic adjective (ŭl'trə-sŏn'ĭk)
Our Living Language  : Many people use simple ultrasound generators. Dog whistles, for example, produce tones that dogs can hear but that are too high to be heard by humans. Sound whose frequency is higher than the upper end of the normal range of human hearing (higher than about 20,000 hertz) is called ultrasound. (Sound at frequencies too low to be audible—about 20 hertz or lower—is called infrasound.) Medical ultrasound images, such as those of a fetus in the womb, are made by directing ultrasonic waves into the body, where they bounce off internal organs and other objects and are reflected back to a detector. Ultrasound imaging, also known as ultrasonography, is particularly useful in conditions such as pregnancy, when x-rays can be harmful. Because ultrasonic waves have very short wavelengths, they interact with very small objects and thus provide images with high resolution. For this reason ultrasound is also used in some microscopes. Ultrasound can also be used to focus large amounts of energy into very small spaces by aiming multiple ultrasonic beams in such a way that the waves are in phase at one precise location, making it possible, for example, to break up kidney stones without surgical incision and without disturbing surrounding tissue. Ultrasound's industrial uses include measuring thicknesses of materials, testing for structural defects, welding, and aquatic sonar.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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