Have you ever wanted to describe a sound that you heard but found you didn’t have quite the right word for it? Then read on, because this post (and Parts 2 and 3) will provide you with a range of specific words and phrases to refer to the sounds we hear in our daily life. We’ll start by looking at noises that we hear in an urban environment. As you might imagine, many relate to vehicles.
What do you hear when you leave your home? If, like me, you live near a main road, you might be aware of the continuous low noise of traffic. We describe this – and other continuous low noises – as a hum, a drone or a rumble:
There was just the faintest hum of late-night traffic.
I was driven mad by the constant drone of planes flying over our house.
The only sound is the rumble of trucks on the nearby highway.
We could hear very little above the deafening roar of traffic from the nearby M6.
There was a screech of brakes followed by a loud bang.
The incessant honking of horns drives me mad.
Another sound that’s heard in cities is the wailing (= long, high sound) of sirens in emergency vehicles: Ambulances and police cars sped by, their sirens wailing.
Local residents are fed up with music blaring from car stereos.
I couldn’t hear him because of all the music blaring out from the speakers.
In the square, the church bells pealed.
The bells chimed throughout the night.
The neighbour’s dog started barking in the middle of the night.
Did you hear that dog howling last night?
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the sounds of the city. In Part 2 of this post, I’ll look at sound words relating to nature.