a method for detecting and locating objects submerged in water by echolocation.
the apparatus used in sonar.
Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.
- Also called, British, asdic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use sonar in a sentence
As the philosopher Thomas Nagel noted, it must “be like” something to be a bat, but what that is we cannot even imagine—because we cannot imagine what it would be like to observe the world through a kind of sonar.What would it be like to be a conscious AI? We might never know. | Will Douglas Heaven | August 25, 2021 | MIT Technology Review
It’s similar to how a bat uses sonar to “see” its surroundings.Rhinos, camels and bone-crushing dogs once roamed Nebraska | Alison Pearce Stevens | May 13, 2021 | Science News For Students
That was the only way to explain the thermocline, a zone of rapidly decreasing temperature that separates warm surface waters from the frigid deep ocean, which affected naval sonar.A new book explores how military funding shaped the science of oceanography | Alka Tripathy-Lang | April 16, 2021 | Science News
The scientific goals of the expeditions are always secondary, although splurging for the sonar mapping system turns out to be key in verifying their world-record-holding status.A journey to the bottom of the oceans — all five of them | Lucinda Robb | December 18, 2020 | Washington Post
Uncrewed ships equipped with sonar spot suspicious objects from different angles, and an extended telescopic arm wields a nail gun to attach an explosive charge.
It had advanced sonar—aimed not at the ocean floor but at other subs and shipping—and drew a blank.If They Are Ever Found, Flight 370’s Black Boxes Should Go to the U.S. | Clive Irving | April 8, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
They are loaded with state-of-the art sonar and radar equipment.
Or how about powerful sonar blasts the U.S. Navy is using in the waters off southern California?Fishy Mystery: Are Beached Oarfish Trying to Tell Us Something? | Kevin Bailey | October 23, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Before that, in December 2011, it won a $691 million U.S. Navy subcontract for “combat and sonar systems” for submarines.Assad Supplier Finmeccanica Did Business With the Pentagon | Aram Roston | July 9, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
He was talking about the sonar beacon linked to the black box of Air France Flight 447.
The tyme of hir purificatioun was sonar then the Leviticall law appointes.The Works of John Knox, Vol. 1 (of 6) | John Knox
The sonar equipment showed what kind of rock it was—iron and basalt.The Minus Woman | Russell Robert Winterbotham
Diciendo y haciendo, el pcaro sac del bolsillo cuatro piezas de plata y las hizo sonar.A First Spanish Reader | Erwin W. Roessler and Alfred Remy
Thus the sonar waves would appear to be striking no obstacle—and no echo would return to the sonarscopes on the search craft!Tom Swift and the Electronic Hydrolung | Victor Appleton
An invisible sub—one that sonar pulses would seem to pass right through, as if nothing were there!Tom Swift and the Electronic Hydrolung | Victor Appleton
British Dictionary definitions for sonar
a communication and position-finding device used in underwater navigation and target detection using echolocation
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 sonar
Short for sound navigation and ranging. A method of detecting, locating, and determining the speed of objects through the use of reflected sound waves. A sound signal is produced, and the time it takes for the signal to reach an object and for its echo to return is used to calculate the object's distance. The Doppler effect can also be used to determine the object's relative velocity. Electronic sonar systems are used for submarine navigation and for detecting schools of fish. Some mammals, especially bats, use biological sonar to navigate and detect prey in dark conditions, commonly called echolocation.
The equipment or physiology used in doing this. See also Doppler effect lidar radar.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.