adjective Also a·cous·ti·cal.

pertaining to the sense or organs of hearing, to sound, or to the science of sound.
(of a building material) designed for controlling sound.
  1. of, relating to, or being a musical instrument whose sound is not electrically enhanced or modified.
  2. arranged for or made up of such instruments: an acoustic solo; an acoustic group.


Obsolete. a remedy for deafness or imperfect hearing.

Origin of acoustic

From the Greek word akoustikós, dating back to 1595–1605. See acouasm, -tic
Related formsa·cous·ti·cal·ly, adverbnon·a·cous·tic, adjective, nounnon·a·cous·ti·cal, adjectivenon·a·cous·ti·cal·ly, adverbun·a·cous·tic, adjectiveun·a·cous·ti·cal, adjectiveun·a·cous·ti·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for acoustic

hearing, audio, audile, auditory, aural, phonic

Examples from the Web for acoustic

Contemporary Examples of acoustic

Historical Examples of acoustic

  • The purpose of the roof was doubtless to add to the acoustic effect.

  • And how comes it that the disturbance always takes an acoustic form?


    August Strindberg

  • This theatre it may be noted is one of the best for its acoustic properties in London.

    Michael Faraday

    Walter Jerrold

  • There would be no sound without the acoustic nerve and the brain.


    Camille Flammarion

  • I had frequently been struck by the acoustic properties of this hallway.

British Dictionary definitions for acoustic




of or related to sound, the sense of hearing, or acoustics
designed to respond to, absorb, or control soundan acoustic tile
(of a musical instrument or recording) without electronic amplificationan acoustic bass; an acoustic guitar
Derived Formsacoustically, adverb

Word Origin for acoustic

C17: from Greek akoustikos, from akouein to hear
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 acoustic

c.1600, from French acoustique, from Greek akoustikos "pertaining to hearing," from akoustos "heard, audible," verbal adjective from akouein "to hear," probably from copulative prefix a- + koein "to mark, perceive, hear," from PIE *kous- "to hear," perhaps from root *(s)keu- "to notice, observe" (see caveat). Acoustic guitar (as opposed to electric) attested by 1958. Related: Acoustical; acoustically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

acoustic in Medicine




Of or relating to sound, the sense of hearing, or the perception of sound.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.