WORD LISTS

Common Senses: Sonare

May 28, 2014
Sonare means "to sound" in Latin. To hear your synapses firing, read these lists aloud: phone, audire
Here are links to more sensory stimulation: pathos, sentire, tangere, videre, specere, opsis
sonic
sonare (to sound) + ic (suffix forming adjectives)
The phrase "sonic universe" echoes "cosmic universe" but its focus is on sounds on earth that are audible to human ears. The cosmic universe is also very noisy, but the sounds in space need more sensitive instruments to detect.
Instead, he lets his ears guide him on an adventure to track down quirky, extreme and historically venerated phenomena of our sonic universe.
New York Times (Apr 23, 2014)
infrasonic
infra (below) + sonare (to sound) + ic (suffix forming adjectives)
The prefix "sub" also means "below" so subsonic sounds are the same as infrasonic sounds. But infrared light consists of wavelengths greater than those that can be seen by human eyes.
These infrasonic sounds can rattle and paralyze prey.
Scientific American (Apr 10, 2013)
supersonic
super (above) + sonare (to sound) + ic (suffix forming adjectives)
In describing the speed of sound, "supersonic" and "subsonic" are antonyms. As suggested by the previous example sentence, subsonic or infrasonic sounds can rattle small creatures. A sonic boom created by a supersonic jet is more explosive and can rattle windows and buildings.
Federal authorities prohibit supersonic flight over the U.S., because sonic booms are annoying.
BusinessWeek (Jul 15, 2013)
sonorous
sonare (to sound) + ous (suffix forming adjectives)
The sound of the word contributes to its use in mostly pleasant ways. A more annoying adjective that also means loud comes from the name of a Greek herald in Homer's "Iliad": stentorian.
His is not a voice that begins at the ankles the way Mr. Sheppard’s seemed to, but it is deep and sonorous enough.
New York Times (May 5, 2013)
assonance
ad (to) + sonare (to sound) + ance (suffix forming abstract nouns)
Alliteration uses the same consonant at the beginning of each word to create a sound effect that might help with memory or emphasis. Onomatopoeia uses words that imitate the sounds they describe. According to these definitions, the phrase "hoary roaring sea" has onomatopoeia and assonance, but not alliteration. But alliteration can also connect consonants that are close by.
The splendid onomatopoeia of "hoary roaring sea" reminds us how well assonance and alliteration work throughout the poem.
The Guardian (Jun 25, 2012)
consonance
com (with) + sonare (to sound) + ance (suffix forming abstract nouns)
The example sentence uses "consonance" as an antonym of "dissonance" but it also has a poetic meaning that's connected to "assonance" and "alliteration": the repetition of similar consonant sounds, especially at the ends of words.
There is a consonance of all things, a blending of all that we know about the material world and the spiritual.
Keller, Helen
dissonance
dis (apart) + sonare (to sound) + ance (suffix forming abstract nouns)
In the example sentence, "dissonance" can be replaced with "cacophony" to create more of a contrast with "harmony" and to connect sonically to "chaos" in the first pair of antonyms.
The paintings teeter between order and chaos, harmony and dissonance, beauty and ugliness.
New York Times (Apr 3, 2014)
resonance
re (again) + sonare (to sound) + ance (suffix forming abstract nouns)
Because the example sentences are focused on music, "resonance" suggests the physical property of sound that can be intensified and prolonged by vibration. But the word is used to emphasize that the musicians' focus is not on physical sound or financial gain, but on the emotional impact on people's heartstrings.
“We listen for emotional resonance. We don’t listen for money in our melodies.”
Forbes (May 23, 2014)
sonata
"Sonata" is the Italian feminine past participle of the Latin verb "sonare." A sonatina is a shorter and simpler sonata.
Many young virtuoso pianists perform the Beethoven sonatas as a demonstration of their musical depth.
New York Times (Mar 20, 2014)
unison
uni (one) + sonus (sound)
This word usually has a positive tone, because the oneness of the sound is created by many voices coming together in peaceful agreement. Compare this with a word that has a more negative tone but similar Greek roots: mono (one) + tonos (tone).
“Tell us about it,” said 20 hockey teams in unison.
Seattle Times (May 17, 2014)
sonogram
sonare (to sound) + gram (suffix forming nouns about instruments for recording or something written)
Compare with "ultrasound"--although the breakdowns of the two words show that "sonogram" would be a better noun to refer to the image produced by ultrasound technology, both words are now used interchangeably by excited prospective parents.
Women will be offered the option of hearing the heartbeat and seeing the sonogram image, which they may decline.
Reuters (May 19, 2011)
sounding
sonare (to sound) + ing (suffix forming gerunds, which are nouns from the present participle of verbs)
The sounding line here is figurative--it compares a world of possibilities to a shifting sea, whose depths must often be tested to find safe places that would not result in being stuck in the shallows, drowned by the waves, or crushed by the pressure. A literal sounding line is also called a plumb line--from which a weight, often made of lead, is suspended to plumb the watery depth.
We must frequently throw out the sounding line into the shifting sea of possibility in order to find secure anchorage.
Cumont, Franz
soundproof
sonare (to sound) + proof (suffix forming adjectives meaning able to withstand)
As the breakdown of the word suggests, it originated as an adjective, similar to "bulletproof" and "foolproof." Hyphenated, the compound word would emphasize the action of proofing, but the word is more often used without the hyphen to function as either a verb or adjective. The example sentence uses the present participle of the verb to function as an adjective.
The company converted two closets into quiet rooms with soundproofing material on the walls and shower doors.
BusinessWeek (Mar 13, 2014)
resound
re (back) + sonare (to sound)
Compare with "resonance"--although the example sentence focuses on the physical resounding of sound, it also creates emotional resonance by alluding to lyrics from a scene in "The Sound of Music."
The hills resound with the need to be heard.
New York Times (Feb 14, 2014)
ultrasound
ultra (beyond) + sonare (to sound)
Compare with "infrasonic"--both describe sounds that humans cannot hear, but "infrasonic" covers a range below 20 hertz while "ultrasound" covers a range above 20,000 hertz.
These katydids communicate in ultrasound, a range too high for most ears in the animal world—and therefore most potential predators.
Scientific American (Nov 19, 2012)

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