Words nearby murmuration
What does murmuration mean?
Such a sound can be called a murmur. Examples include the sound of water in a stream, the wind through the trees, and the low, muffled sound of a TV in another room.
This is the way the word is used in the phrase the murmur of the crowd, which refers to the collective sound of a lot of people talking at once. (In contrast, the roar of the crowd refers to collective cheering and is much louder.) In this case, murmuration could refer to the sound being made or the action of the people making it.
Murmur also means to say something in a low tone that can’t be easily understood, especially to complain in such a way, but murmuration isn’t typically used in this sense.
Murmuration is also a fanciful name for a flock of starlings (similar to other names for groups of birds and animals, like a murder of crows).
Example: The endless murmuration of the creek was as good as a lullaby, soothing me to sleep.
Where does murmuration come from?
The first records of the word murmuration come from the 1300s. It derives from the Latin word murmurāre, meaning “to mutter,” “to make a gentle sound,” “to roar,” or “to grumble.” The word murmur is thought to be based on onomatopoeia, which is the formation of a word by imitation of a sound.
In other words, murmur sounds like the thing it describes. When the people in a crowd all talk at the same time, you don’t hear the individual voices or conversations. Instead, you can only hear the murmur—the indistinct, collective chatter of all those voices combined. If you tried to imitate that sound, it may sound a bit like murmurmurmurmurmur.
The use of the word murmuration as a collective name for a flock of starlings may be due to the fact that the birds are known for making a variety of noises and for being somewhat noisy when flocking together. The word is sometimes specifically used to refer to flocks of starlings when they’re in flight and are moving together in a way that forms beautifully changing shapes, much like a school of fish.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms of murmuration?
- murmur (verb, noun)
What are some synonyms for murmuration?
What are some words that share a root or word element with murmuration?
What are some words that often get used in discussing murmuration?
How is murmuration used in real life?
Murmuration is used in the context of crowd noise or other low and indistinct sounds.
I murmured something about a murmuration outside – they said I was mumbling. I was murmuring, dammit. And now I'm grumbling about mumbling.
— MamaLaCrooz (@MmeLaCrooz) December 9, 2011
The moment when an audience collectively hushes before a show, even though there's no signal from onstage. It's like a flock of starlings wheeling into silence. A murmuration, or more appropriately, an unmurmuration.
— Another Cinna (@AnotherCinna) September 27, 2018
Murmuration of starlings in Spain 🇪🇸 pic.twitter.com/KMs6U3CcXN
— Buitengebieden (@BuitengebiedenB) June 3, 2020
Try using murmuration!
Which of the following words is a synonym of murmuration?
D. all of the above
How to use murmuration in a sentence
The chalk-pit was full of sunshine and the murmuration of bees.The Forsyte Saga, Volume III.|John Galsworthy