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[uh-koo-stik] /əˈku stɪk/
adjective, Also, acoustical
pertaining to the sense or organs of hearing, to sound, or to the science of sound.
(of a building material) designed for controlling sound.
  1. of, relating to, or being a musical instrument whose sound is not electrically enhanced or modified.
  2. arranged for or made up of such instruments:
    an acoustic solo; an acoustic group.
Obsolete. a remedy for deafness or imperfect hearing.
Origin of acoustic
1595-1605; < Greek akoustikós. See acouasm, -tic
Related forms
acoustically, adverb
nonacoustic, adjective, noun
nonacoustical, adjective
nonacoustically, adverb
unacoustic, adjective
unacoustical, adjective
unacoustically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for acoustic
  • Normally when sound enters the ear, acoustic information is relayed from the ear to the brain via nerve cells, called neurons.
  • The interior is coated with sound-isolating open-cell acoustic foam.
  • The listener is not able to understand where the acoustic instrument is and where the new sampled sound comes in.
  • acoustic neuromas can be observed, or treated with surgery or radiation.
  • First-year students pour concrete beams and use acoustic technology to scan them for hidden cracks.
  • Imagine a day when a submarine could blast a target to smithereens using nothing more than acoustic energy.
  • One theory has it that the music used contains hidden messages as a form of acoustic psycho-correction.
  • Cognitively advanced, whales have powers of acoustic processing, communication and social intelligence.
  • Built by expert luthiers, custom-designed acoustic and electric guitars are sold throughout the area.
  • Blasting heavenly tunes in hallowed halls, researchers find the acoustic quirks that help churches get the message across.
British Dictionary definitions for acoustic


of or related to sound, the sense of hearing, or acoustics
designed to respond to, absorb, or control sound: an acoustic tile
(of a musical instrument or recording) without electronic amplification: an acoustic bass, an acoustic guitar
Derived Forms
acoustically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Greek akoustikos, from akouein to hear
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
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Word Origin and History for acoustic

c.1600, from French acoustique, from Greek akoustikos "pertaining to hearing," from akoustos "heard, audible," verbal adjective from akouein "to hear," probably from copulative prefix a- + koein "to mark, perceive, hear," from PIE *kous- "to hear," perhaps from root *(s)keu- "to notice, observe" (see caveat). Acoustic guitar (as opposed to electric) attested by 1958. Related: Acoustical; acoustically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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acoustic in Medicine

acoustic a·cous·tic (ə-kōō'stĭk) or a·cous·ti·cal (-stĭ-kəl)
Of or relating to sound, the sense of hearing, or the perception of sound.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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