a unit used to express the intensity of a sound wave, equal to 20 times the common logarithm of the ratio of the pressure produced by the sound wave to a reference pressure, usually 0.0002 microbar.
a unit of power ratio, the number of units being equal to a constant times the logarithm to the base 10 of the intensities of two sources.
a unit used to compare two voltages or currents, equal to 20 times the common logarithm of the ratio of the voltages or currents measured across equal resistances. Abbreviation: dB, db
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use decibel in a sentence
The ANC does offer increased isolation and a more immersive experience than the Evo, but I couldn’t otherwise detect a huge sonic distinction, despite the slight difference in decibel output.Skullcandy Hesh headphones review: An everyday overachiever | Andrew Waite | August 20, 2021 | Popular-Science
Understand the differences between fuel options and don’t overlook the decibel rating.Best gas generator: Weather the storm with these reliable picks for home and outdoor use | Irena Collaku | July 21, 2021 | Popular-Science
Some cities, including Greenwich, Connecticut, and Palm Beach, Florida, regulate the decibel volume and times of use of leaf blowers.
The frame is made with powder-coated steel tubing that resists scratching and staining, and while you’re adjusting it, the motor keeps the noise level relatively unobtrusive, at under 50 decibels.Best adjustable desks: Stand or sit with double-duty office furniture | PopSci Commerce Team | February 26, 2021 | Popular-Science
Noise, or sound power, is measured in decibels and is an effective way of gauging the noise introduced by home appliances in relation to other common residential sounds.Best air purifier: Fight allergens, smoke, and germs for cleaner indoor air | PopSci Commerce Team | December 17, 2020 | Popular-Science
The decibel levels fell a fraction, but we were still in the heart of a crowd that believed in Brazil.Germany Humiliates World Cup Host Brazil 7-1 in Semifinal Slaughter | Tunku Varadarajan | July 8, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Some men raise their voices when the argument heats up, and if women try to match their decibel level, they risk sounding shrill.Bill O’Reilly’s Macho Moment in On-Air Confrontation With Laura Ingraham | Lauren Ashburn | April 5, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Their mission: to raise the awareness of poverty to the decibel level of other hot-button media issues.Some Catholic Leaders Speaking Out Against Paul Ryan’s Budget-Cutting | Lauren Ashburn | August 20, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
The decibel level of all this at Fox and the usual redoubts will be deafening.Michael Tomasky on Obama’s Delusions About the GOP’s ‘Fever’ Breaking | Michael Tomasky | June 7, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
Maybe it was the fact that the candidates were sitting around a table, which clearly lowered the decibel level.
British Dictionary definitions for decibel
a unit for comparing two currents, voltages, or power levels, equal to one tenth of a bel
a similar unit for measuring the intensity of a sound. It is equal to ten times the logarithm to the base ten of the ratio of the intensity of the sound to be measured to the intensity of some reference sound, usually the lowest audible note of the same frequency
- Abbreviation: dB
- See also perceived noise decibel
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
Scientific definitions for decibel
A unit used to measure the power of a signal, such as an electrical signal or sound, relative to some reference level. An increase of ten decibels in the power of a signal is equivalent to increasing its power by a factor of ten. As a measure of sound intensity, a zero-decibel reference is stipulated to be the lowest level audible to the human ear; the speaking voice of most people ranges from 45 to 75 decibels.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for decibel
A unit of measurement of the volume of sounds.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.