- A vibration or other disturbance which travels through an elastic medium, such as air, water, or metal, in the form of longitudinal waves. In dry air, for example, at 0 °C, and at one atmosphere pressure, sound travels at approximately 331.6 meters per second, while in copper sound travels at approximately 3,360 meters per second. Sound waves may be reflected, refracted, scattered, or absorbed, and are also subject to constructive and destructive interference. Characteristics which help distinguish between sounds include frequency, amplitude, and timbre. 2. Sound (1) whose frequency is within the audible spectrum. Sound is usually heard, but if the frequency is sufficiently low, it may be felt. Sound below 20 Hz is called infrasound, while ultrasound is above 20,000 Hz. Also, the auditory sensation that such sound produces.
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