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white noise

noun
1.
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.
2.
Physics. random noise with a uniform frequency spectrum over a wide range of frequencies.
Origin
1965-1970
1965-70
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for white noise
  • Another test asked participants to work out the direction of specific sounds embedded within white noise.
  • Another test asked participants to work out the direction of specific sounds embedded within stereo white noise.
  • Next you expose it to a burst of white noise, which predictably makes it jump.
  • Then you accompany the white noise with the light flash, and now the rat jumps higher than it does when it hears the noise alone.
  • The winner of the game could administer a blast of white noise to the loser.
  • white noise is defined as each frequency in the sound having equal energy throughout the spectrum.
British Dictionary definitions for white noise

white noise

noun
1.
  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
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Word Origin and History for white noise
n.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Difficulty index for white noise

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for white

11
10
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