Which word can I use to describe the high noise made by ocean waves striking at beach? When there are winds blowing, they make a high noise.

  • 5
    Roar of the surf and crash of the surf both have lots of Google hits, though probably not nearly so many as Google reports. Mar 16, 2013 at 13:25
  • Related: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaking_wave
    – Stephen
    Mar 16, 2013 at 15:44
  • you can use the word 'roaring' for describing the sound of the sea, especially when it is turbulent
    – user20428
    Jun 12, 2015 at 9:41
  • 1
    When you say "high noise" do you mean "loud noise" or "high-pitched noise?" [Hitting a piano key forcefully makes a loud noise. Hitting a key on the far right of the piano makes a high (pitched) noise.]
    – Adam
    Jun 12, 2015 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


As StoneyB suggested, roar and crash of the surf are common descriptions. Roar is used in sense 4, “Generally, of inanimate objects etc., to make a loud resounding noise”, and crash in sense 3, “A loud sound as made for example by cymbals”.

Some other terms often used include pounding surf, in sense “Causing heavy or loud throbs”, and rumble of surf, in sense “A low pitched irregular noise, such as that of thunder or a hungry stomach”.

Ngrams for pounding surf,rumbling surf,rumble of surf,roaring surf,roar of surf,crashing surf shows pounding surf coming first since about 1930, before which time roaring surf was most common among those phrases. In recent years, crashing surf has pushed roaring surf out of second place. (It is possible other forms and combinations not included in that ngrams, such as “roar of the surf” instead of “roar of surf”, may occur more frequently; feel free to try different phrases, time periods, smoothing, etc.)

From en.wiktionary, susurrus means “A whispering or rustling sound; a murmur”; although susurrus obviously doesn't apply to loud surf, google for susurrus of the surf shows that phrase appearing in several recent books.

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