white noise


Also called white sound. a steady, unvarying, unobtrusive sound, as an electronically produced drone or the sound of rain, used to mask or obliterate unwanted sounds.
Physics. random noise with a uniform frequency spectrum over a wide range of frequencies.

Nearby words

  1. white muscle,
  2. white mustard,
  3. white nationalism,
  4. white night,
  5. white nile,
  6. white oak,
  7. white out,
  8. white pages,
  9. white paper,
  10. white pass

Origin of white noise

First recorded in 1965–70

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for white noise

British Dictionary definitions for white noise

white noise


  1. sound or electrical noise that has a relatively wide continuous range of frequencies of uniform intensity
  2. noise containing all frequencies rising in level by six decibels every octave
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 white noise

white noise


"sound made up of a random mixture of frequencies and intensities," attested by 1970.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper