[suh-nawr-uhs, -nohr-, son-er-uhs]


giving out or capable of giving out a sound, especially a deep, resonant sound, as a thing or place: a sonorous cavern.
loud, deep, or resonant, as a sound.
rich and full in sound, as language or verse.
high-flown; grandiloquent: a sonorous speech.

Origin of sonorous

1605–15; < Latin sonōrus noisy, sounding, equivalent to sonōr-, stem of sonor sound (son(āre) to sound1 + -or -or1) + -us -ous
Related formsso·no·rous·ly, adverbso·no·rous·ness, nounmul·ti·so·no·rous, adjectivemul·ti·so·no·rous·ly, adverbmul·ti·so·no·rous·ness, nounun·so·no·rous, adjectiveun·so·no·rous·ly, adverbun·so·no·rous·ness, noun

Synonyms for sonorous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sonorous

booming, ringing, thundering, loud, powerful, rich, rotund, resounding

Examples from the Web for sonorous

Contemporary Examples of sonorous

Historical Examples of sonorous

  • The young man's voice came with a sonorous firmness that was new to it.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Her perfect health, and all her love of life, rang out in this sonorous gaiety.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • In the sonorous emptiness of the place, there ensued a heated discussion.


    Emile Zola

  • His voice is sweet and sonorous, his eyes are bright with intellect.

  • The solemnity of the sonorous exhortation was water in her ears.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

British Dictionary definitions for sonorous



producing or capable of producing sound
(of language, sound, etc) deep or resonant
(esp of speech) high-flown; grandiloquent
Derived Formssonority (səˈnɒrɪtɪ), nounsonorously, adverbsonorousness, noun

Word Origin for sonorous

C17: from Latin sonōrus loud, from sonor a noise
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 sonorous

1610s, from Latin sonorus "resounding," from sonor "sound, noise," from sonare "to sound" (see sonata). Related: Sonorously; sonorousness. Earlier was sonouse (c.1500), from Medieval Latin sonosus; sonourse "having a pleasing voice" (c.1400), from sonor + -y (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper