n. pl. ech·oes
a. Repetition of a sound by reflection of sound waves from a surface.
b. The sound produced in this manner.
2. A repetition or an imitation: a fashion that is an echo of an earlier style.
3. A remnant or vestige: found echoes of past civilizations while examining artifacts in the Middle East.
4. One who imitates another, as in opinions, speech, or dress.
5. A sympathetic response: Their demand for justice found an echo in communities across the nation.
6. A consequence or repercussion: Her resignation had echoes throughout the department.
7. Repetition of certain sounds or syllables in poetry, as in echo verse.
8. Music Soft repetition of a note or phrase.
9. Electronics A reflected wave received by a radio or radar.
10. An echocardiogram.
v. ech·oed, ech·o·ing, ech·oes
1. To repeat (a sound) by the reflection of sound waves from a surface.
2. To repeat or imitate: followers echoing the cries of their leader; events that echoed a previous incident in history.
1. To be repeated by or as if by an echo: The shout echoed off the wall. The speaker's words echoed in her mind.
2. To resound with or as if with an echo; reverberate: rooms echoing with laughter.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin ēchō, from Greek ēkhō.]
Synonyms: echo, reflect, resound, reverberate
These verbs mean to be repeated by the reflection of sound waves: a cry that echoed through the canyon; traffic noise reflecting off the buildings; a loud hammering that resounded through the tunnel; a final chord that reverberated in the concert hall.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.