Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[noiz] /nɔɪz/
sound, especially of a loud, harsh, or confused kind:
deafening noises.
a sound of any kind:
to hear a noise at the door.
loud shouting, outcry, or clamor.
a nonharmonious or discordant group of sounds.
an electric disturbance in a communications system that interferes with or prevents reception of a signal or of information, as the buzz on a telephone or snow on a television screen.
Informal. extraneous, irrelevant, or meaningless facts, information, statistics, etc.:
The noise in the report obscured its useful information.
Obsolete. rumor or gossip, especially slander.
verb (used with object), noised, noising.
to spread, as a report or rumor; disseminate (usually followed by about or abroad):
A new scandal is being noised about.
verb (used without object), noised, noising.
to talk much or publicly.
to make a noise, outcry, or clamor.
make noises, Informal. to speak vaguely; hint:
He is making noises to the press about running for public office.
1175-1225; Middle English < Old French < Latin nausea seasickness. See nausea
Related forms
unnoised, adjective
1. clatter, blare, uproar, tumult. Noise, clamor, din, hubbub, racket refer to unmusical or confused sounds. Noise is the general word and is applied equally to soft or loud, confused or inharmonious sounds: street noises. Clamor and hubbub are alike in referring to loud noises resulting from shouting, cries, animated or excited tones, and the like; but in clamor the emphasis is on the meaning of the shouting, and in hubbub the emphasis is on the confused mingling of sounds: the clamor of an angry crowd; His voice could be heard above the hubbub. Din suggests a loud, resonant noise, painful if long continued: the din of a boiler works. Racket suggests a loud, confused noise of the kind produced by clatter or percussion: He always makes a racket when he cleans up the dishes. 2. See sound1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for noise
  • Working one bird at a time, the researchers played some loud white noise every time the bird sang a particular note.
  • But the noise in the background was the unmistakable sound of horses being traded.
  • But the sound of dissent is often mere background noise.
  • The noise from the release was a scream so loud that it drowned out the emergency steam whistle for five minutes.
  • There was a crashing noise-the sound of the magnet warming up.
  • noise is sound at the wrong time and in the wrong place.
  • But when the noise is inside your head and continuous or nearly so, it could literally drive you crazy.
  • Cole later said that people had misinterpreted her admonition, and that the complaints were mostly about general noise.
  • Wobbles smaller than one metre a second are lost in the noise.
  • Males produce this species-specific noise with vibrating membranes on their abdomens.
British Dictionary definitions for noise


a sound, esp one that is loud or disturbing
loud shouting; clamour; din
any undesired electrical disturbance in a circuit, degrading the useful information in a signal See also signal-to-noise ratio
undesired or irrelevant elements in a visual image: removing noise from pictures
talk or interest: noise about strikes
(pl) conventional comments or sounds conveying a reaction, attitude, feeling, etc: she made sympathetic noises
make a noise, to talk a great deal or complain
(informal) make noises about, to give indications of one's intentions: the government is making noises about new social security arrangements
(theatre) noises off, sounds made offstage intended for the ears of the audience: used as a stage direction
(transitive; usually foll by abroad or about) to spread (news, gossip, etc)
(intransitive) (rare) to talk loudly or at length
(intransitive) (rare) to make a din or outcry; be noisy
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Latin: nausea
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 noise

early 13c., "loud outcry, clamor, shouting," from Old French noise "din, disturbance, uproar, brawl" (11c., in modern French only in phrase chercher noise "to pick a quarrel"), also "rumor, report, news," apparently from Latin nausea "disgust, annoyance, discomfort," literally "seasickness" (see nausea).

Another theory traces the Old French word to Latin noxia "hurting, injury, damage." OED considers that "the sense of the word is against both suggestions," but nausea could have developed a sense in Vulgar Latin of "unpleasant situation, noise, quarrel" (cf. Old Provençal nauza "noise, quarrel"). Meaning "loud or unpleasant sound" is from c.1300. Replaced native gedyn (see din).


late 14c., "to praise; to talk loudly about," from noise (n.). Related: Noised; noising.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for noise


  1. Empty talk; meaningless verbiage; bluster: That press release is plain noise (1940s+)
  2. Heroin (1920s+ Narcotics)
Related Terms

big noise, make noises

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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noise in Technology

Any part of a signal that is not the true or original signal but is introduced by the communication mechanism.
A common example would be an electrical signal travelling down a wire to which noise is added by inductive and capacitive coupling with other nearby signals (this kind of noise is known as "crosstalk").
A less obvious form of noise is quantisation noise, such as the error between the true colour of a point in a scene in the real world and its representation as a pixel in a digital image.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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