[ ek-oh-loh-key-shuhn ]

  1. the general method of locating objects by determining the time for an echo to return and the direction from which it returns, as by radar or sonar.

  2. Zoology. the sonarlike system used by dolphins, bats, and other animals to detect and locate objects by emitting usually high-pitched sounds that reflect off the object and return to the animal's ears or other sensory receptors.

Origin of echolocation

First recorded in 1940–45; echo + location

Words Nearby echolocation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use echolocation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for echolocation


/ (ˌɛkəʊləʊˈkeɪʃən) /

  1. determination of the position of an object by measuring the time taken for an echo to return from it and its direction

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 echolocation


[ ĕk′ō-lō-kāshən ]

  1. Sonar, especially of animals, such as bats and toothed whales. See more at sonar.

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