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[suh-nawr-uh s, -nohr-, son-er-uh s] /səˈnɔr əs, -ˈnoʊr-, ˈsɒn ər əs/
giving out or capable of giving out a sound, especially a deep, resonant sound, as a thing or place:
a sonorous cavern.
loud, deep, or resonant, as a sound.
rich and full in sound, as language or verse.
high-flown; grandiloquent:
a sonorous speech.
Origin of sonorous
1605-15; < Latin sonōrus noisy, sounding, equivalent to sonōr-, stem of sonor sound (son(āre) to sound1 + -or -or1) + -us -ous
Related forms
sonorously, adverb
sonorousness, noun
multisonorous, adjective
multisonorously, adverb
multisonorousness, noun
unsonorous, adjective
unsonorously, adverb
unsonorousness, noun
4. eloquent, florid, grandiose, orotund. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sonorous
  • The pipa is a sonorous, four-stringed, pear-shaped instrument held upright on the lap.
  • However wrapped up in sonorous stuff about synergy, plenty of mergers begin with sheer executive boredom.
  • And the wind plays on those great sonorous harps, the shrouds and masts of ships.
  • But even those who did not were held spellbound by the swinging sonorous cadence.
  • sonorous respirations are observed frequently and may be managed by repositioning the patient's head and airway.
  • Severely weathered slates are much less sonorous, and give off a dull thud when tapped.
  • The verse has the sinewy vigor and sonorous chime which generally distinguish his style.
  • His voice deep and sonorous boomed out as he conversed making slight but telling gestures with one hand.
  • His prose is magnificent and sonorous, but abounds in neologisms and strange metaphors.
British Dictionary definitions for sonorous


/səˈnɔːrəs; ˈsɒnərəs/
producing or capable of producing sound
(of language, sound, etc) deep or resonant
(esp of speech) high-flown; grandiloquent
Derived Forms
sonority (səˈnɒrɪtɪ) noun
sonorously, adverb
sonorousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin sonōrus loud, from sonor a noise
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 sonorous

1610s, from Latin sonorus "resounding," from sonor "sound, noise," from sonare "to sound" (see sonata). Related: Sonorously; sonorousness. Earlier was sonouse (c.1500), from Medieval Latin sonosus; sonourse "having a pleasing voice" (c.1400), from sonor + -y (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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