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See more synonyms for ultrasonic on Thesaurus.com
  1. of, relating to, or utilizing ultrasound.
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Origin of ultrasonic

First recorded in 1925–30; ultra- + sonic
Related formsul·tra·son·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for ultrasonic

Historical Examples

  • Immediately, the ultrasonic paralyzers of the advancing paratimers went into action, and the mercenaries began dropping.

    Temple Trouble

    Henry Beam Piper

  • The Guide aimed quickly and pressed the trigger of the ultrasonic stunner.

    Hunter Patrol

    Henry Beam Piper and John J. McGuire

  • Has an ultrasonic dishwasher underneath, and it does some cooking on top, at the back.

    Space Viking

    Henry Beam Piper

  • From it projected the barrels of two kinds of weapons—explosive and ultrasonic.

British Dictionary definitions for ultrasonic


  1. of, concerned with, or producing waves with the same nature as sound waves but frequencies above audio frequenciesSee also ultrasound
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Derived Formsultrasonically, adverb
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 ultrasonic


1923, "having frequency beyond the audible range," from ultra- + sonic. For sense, see supersonic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ultrasonic in Medicine


  1. Of or relating to acoustic frequencies above the range audible to the human ear, or above approximately 20,000 hertz.
  2. Of, relating to, or involving ultrasound.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

ultrasonic in Science


  1. Sound whose frequency is above the upper limit of the range of human hearing (approximately 20 kilohertz).
  2. See ultrasonography.
  3. An image produced by ultrasonography.
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A Closer Look: Many people use simple ultrasound generators. Dog whistles, for example, produce tones that dogs can hear but that are too high to be heard by humans. Sound whose frequency is higher than the upper end of the normal range of human hearing (higher than about 20,000 hertz) is called ultrasound. (Sound at frequencies too low to be audible-about 20 hertz or lower-is called infrasound.) Medical ultrasound images, such as those of a fetus in the womb, are made by directing ultrasonic waves into the body, where they bounce off internal organs and other objects and are reflected back to a detector. Ultrasound imaging, also known as ultrasonography, is particularly useful in conditions such as pregnancy, when x-rays can be harmful. Because ultrasonic waves have very short wavelengths, they interact with very small objects and thus provide images with high resolution. For this reason ultrasound is also used in some microscopes. Ultrasound can also be used to focus large amounts of energy into very small spaces by aiming multiple ultrasonic beams in such a way that the waves are in phase at one precise location, making it possible, for example, to break up kidney stones without surgical incision and without disturbing surrounding tissue. Ultrasound's industrial uses include measuring thicknesses of materials, testing for structural defects, welding, and aquatic sonar.
Related formsultrasonic adjective (ŭl′trə-sŏnĭk)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.