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ultrasound

[ uhl-truh-sound ]
/ ˈʌl trəˌsaʊnd /
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noun
Physics. sound with a frequency greater than 20,000 Hz, approximately the upper limit of human hearing.
Medicine/Medical. the application of ultrasonic waves to therapy or diagnostics, as in deep-heat treatment of a joint or imaging of internal structures.

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Compare ultrasonography.

Origin of ultrasound

First recorded in 1920–25; ultra- + sound1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use ultrasound in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ultrasound

ultrasound
/ (ˈʌltrəˌsaʊnd) /

noun
ultrasonic waves at frequencies above the audible range (above about 20 kHz), used in cleaning metallic parts, echo sounding, medical diagnosis and therapy, etc
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 ultrasound

ultrasound
[ ŭltrə-sound′ ]

Sound whose frequency is above the upper limit of the range of human hearing (approximately 20 kilohertz).
See ultrasonography.
An image produced by ultrasonography.

Other words from ultrasound

ultrasonic adjective (ŭl′trə-sŏnĭk)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for ultrasound

ultrasound

A method of diagnosing illness and viewing internal body structures in which sound waves of high frequency are bounced off internal organs and tissues from outside the body. The technique measures different amounts of resistance the body parts offer to the sound waves, and then uses the data to produce a “picture” of the structures. Ultrasound is often used to obtain an image of the developing fetus in pregnant women; the image can confirm the presence of twins or triplets and can be used to diagnose some abnormalities.

notes for ultrasound

When an image of the inside of the body is needed, ultrasound is often considered a safer alternative to x-rays. Like x-rays, ultrasound involves exposure of the body to a form of radiation; unlike x-rays, ultrasound has not been shown to be carcinogenic.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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