of or relating to sound.
noting or pertaining to a speed equal to that of sound in air at the same height above sea level.

Origin of sonic

1920–25; < Latin son(us) sound1 + -ic
Related formsmul·ti·son·ic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sonic

Contemporary Examples of sonic

Historical Examples of sonic

  • Like a sonic direction finder, Buregarde turned his head and listened.

    History Repeats

    George Oliver Smith

  • "No, it is not sonic control," Brucco answered with a sober face.


    Harry Harrison

  • Ashe touched the find and then gave the alert via the sonic code.

    Key Out of Time

    Andre Alice Norton

  • Loy's box, with its recorded English words and its sonic detectors, could translate for its master, too.

    The Eternal Wall

    Raymond Zinke Gallun

  • Then they tried other weapons—pistols, sonic beams, grenades—but always wearing protective equipment.

    The Dueling Machine

    Benjamin William Bova

British Dictionary definitions for sonic



of, involving, or producing sound
having a speed about equal to that of sound in air: 331 metres per second (741 miles per hour) at 0°C

Word Origin for sonic

C20: from Latin sonus sound
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

Word Origin and History for sonic

1923, from Latin sonus "sound" (see sound (n.1)) + -ic. Sonic boom is attested from 1952.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sonic in Medicine




Of, relating to, or determined by audible sound.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.