• synonyms


  1. a short, relatively high-pitched tone produced by a horn, electronic device, or the like as a signal, summons, or warning.
  2. one of the periodic signals sounded by a beeper.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to make or emit such a sound: When the timer beeps, take the cake out of the oven.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to sound (a horn, warning signal, etc.): impatient drivers beeping their horns.
  2. to announce, warn, summon, etc., by beeping: The doctor was beeped to call the hospital.
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Origin of beep

First recorded in 1925–30; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for beeping

Contemporary Examples

British Dictionary definitions for beeping


  1. a short high-pitched sound, esp one made by the horn of a car, bicycle, etc, or by electronic apparatus
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  1. to make or cause to make such a noise
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Derived Formsbeeper, noun

Word Origin

C20: of imitative origin
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 beeping



1927, imitative of automobile horns (originally of the sound of a certain type of automobile horn among several types in use in the years after the klaxon horn was brought into use c.1910). Used as a noun and verb by 1929. Related: Beeped; beeping.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper