[ ek-oh ]
See synonyms for: echoechoedechoesechoing on

noun,plural ech·oes.
  1. a repetition of sound produced by the reflection of sound waves from a wall, mountain, or other obstructing surface.

  2. a sound heard again near its source after being reflected.

  1. any repetition or close imitation, as of the ideas or opinions of another.

  2. a person who reflects or imitates another.

  3. a sympathetic or identical response, as to sentiments expressed.

  4. a lingering trace or effect.

  5. (initial capital letter)Classical Mythology. a mountain nymph who pined away for love of the beautiful youth Narcissus until only her voice remained.

  6. Cards. the play of a high card and then a low card in the suit led by one's partner as a signal to continue leading the suit, as in bridge, or to lead a trump, as in whist.

  7. Electronics. the reflection of a radio wave, as in radar or the like.

  8. (initial capital letter)U.S. Aerospace. one of an early series of inflatable passive communications satellites.

  9. a word used in communications to represent the letter E.

verb (used without object),ech·oed, ech·o·ing.
  1. to emit an echo; resound with an echo: The hall echoed with cheers.

  2. to be repeated by or as by an echo: Shouts echoed through the street.

verb (used with object),ech·oed, ech·o·ing.
  1. to repeat by or as by an echo; emit an echo of: The hall echoes the faintest sounds.

  2. to repeat or imitate the words, sentiments, etc., of (a person).

  1. to repeat or imitate (words, sentiments, etc.).

Origin of echo

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English ecco, from Latin ēchō, from Greek, akin to ēchḗ “sound”

Other words for echo

Other words from echo

  • ech·o·er, noun
  • ech·o·less, adjective
  • outecho, verb (used with object), out·ech·oed, out·ech·o·ing.
  • sub·ech·o, noun, plural sub·ech·oes.
  • un·ech·oed, adjective
  • un·ech·o·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for echo (1 of 4)


/ (ˈɛkəʊ) /

nounplural -oes
    • the reflection of sound or other radiation by a reflecting medium, esp a solid object

    • the sound so reflected

  1. a repetition or imitation, esp an unoriginal reproduction of another's opinions

  1. something that evokes memories, esp of a particular style or era

  2. (sometimes plural) an effect that continues after the original cause has disappeared; repercussion: the echoes of the French Revolution

  3. a person who copies another, esp one who obsequiously agrees with another's opinions

    • the signal reflected by a radar target

    • the trace produced by such a signal on a radar screen

  4. the repetition of certain sounds or syllables in a verse line

  5. the quiet repetition of a musical phrase

  6. Also called: echo organ, echo stop a manual or stop on an organ that controls a set of quiet pipes that give the illusion of sounding at a distance

  7. an electronic effect in recorded music that adds vibration or resonance

verb-oes, -oing or -oed
  1. to resound or cause to resound with an echo: the cave echoed their shouts

  2. (intr) (of sounds) to repeat or resound by echoes; reverberate

  1. (tr) (of persons) to repeat (words, opinions, etc), in imitation, agreement, or flattery

  2. (tr) (of things) to resemble or imitate (another style, earlier model, etc)

  3. (tr) (of a computer) to display (a character) on the screen of a visual display unit as a response to receiving that character from a keyboard entry

Origin of echo

C14: via Latin from Greek ēkhō; related to Greek ēkhē sound

Derived forms of echo

  • echoing, adjective
  • echoless, adjective
  • echo-like, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for Echo (2 of 4)


/ (ˈɛkəʊ) /

  1. either of two US passive communications satellites, the first of which was launched in 1960

British Dictionary definitions for Echo (3 of 4)


/ (ˈɛkəʊ) /

  1. Greek myth a nymph who, spurned by Narcissus, pined away until only her voice remained

British Dictionary definitions for Echo (4 of 4)


/ (ˈɛkəʊ) /

  1. communications code word for the letter e

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 echo


[ ĕkō ]

  1. A repeated sound that is caused by the reflection of sound waves from a surface. The sound is heard more than once because of the time difference between the initial production of the sound waves and their return from the reflecting surface.

  2. A wave that carries a signal and is reflected. Echoes of radio signals (carried by electromagnetic waves) are used in radar to detect the location or velocity of distant objects.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.