Dictionary.com

sonar

[ soh-nahr ]
/ ˈsoʊ nɑr /
Save This Word!

noun
a method for detecting and locating objects submerged in water by echolocation.
the apparatus used in sonar.

COMPARE COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS

These are smilar words, and share related meanings, but their uses are very different. Click on the buttons to learn more about these commonly confused words.
QUIZ
QUIZ YOURSELF ON AFFECT VS. EFFECT!
In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help
Also called, British, asdic.

Origin of sonar

1940–45; so(und)na(vigation)r(anging)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use sonar in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for sonar

sonar
/ (ˈsəʊnɑː) /

noun
a communication and position-finding device used in underwater navigation and target detection using echolocation

Word Origin for sonar

C20: from so (und) na (vigation and) r (anging)
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

sonar
[ sōnär′ ]

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.
FEEDBACK