(used with a singular verb) Physics. the branch of physics that deals with sound and sound waves.
(used with a plural verb) the qualities or characteristics of a room, auditorium, stadium, etc., that determine the audibility or fidelity of sounds in it.

Origin of acoustics

First recorded in 1675–85; see origin at acoustic, -ics
Related formshy·per·a·cous·tics, noun



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 acoustics

sound, noise, echo

Examples from the Web for acoustics

Contemporary Examples of acoustics

  • One, with a grand main chamber dramatically illuminated by candle niches, recently shared its acoustics during a concert.

    The Daily Beast logo
    New Mexico’s Amazing Man-Made Caves

    Nina Strochlic

    December 12, 2013

Historical Examples of acoustics

British Dictionary definitions for acoustics



(functioning as singular) the scientific study of sound and sound waves
(functioning as plural) the characteristics of a room, auditorium, etc, that determine the fidelity with which sound can be heard within it




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 acoustics

1680s, "science of sound," from acoustic (also see -ics). Meaning "acoustic properties" of a building, etc., attested from 1885.



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

acoustics in Medicine




The scientific study of sound, especially of its generation, transmission, and reception.




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.

acoustics in Science



Used with a singular verb The scientific study of sound and its transmission.
Used with a plural verb The total effect of sound, especially as produced in an enclosed space.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.