- Also called white sound. a steady, unvarying, unobtrusive sound, as an electronically produced drone or the sound of rain, used to mask or obliterate unwanted sounds.
- Physics. random noise with a uniform frequency spectrum over a wide range of frequencies.
Origin of white noise
First recorded in 1965–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for white noise
The voice emerged from that white-noise roar of water humming and sloshing back and forth in her basket.
The rush of water echoed off the cave walls, a white-noise shushing that sounded like skis cutting through powder.
- sound or electrical noise that has a relatively wide continuous range of frequencies of uniform intensity
- noise containing all frequencies rising in level by six decibels every octave
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
Word Origin and History for white noise
"sound made up of a random mixture of frequencies and intensities," attested by 1970.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper