I was trying to say:

I had to shout so as to X the loudness of the music.

And then I realise I didn't know any word whose meaning was "to speak louder than". Does such a word exist? At first, I thought about something like "overspeak" or "overvolume", but the first one means something else entirely and the second one does not seem to exist.

  • Note: “so to [infinitive]” is not valid English. It should either be just “I had to shout to [infinitive]” or “I had to shout so as to [infinitive]”. Also note that quotes should be indicated by blockquote elements, which are made by starting the paragraph with the character “>”; not by indenting the paragraph, which is used to represent computer code. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 22 '14 at 13:03

If you're trying to talk to a friend during a loud concert, you might say "I had to shout over the music".

If your friend is speaking, and you interrupt him to make a point, increasing the volume of your voice so that you are heard (by him or by others in the conversation) despite the fact that your friend is still talking, you would be talking over him.

  • 3
    Or, if you wish to keep the “loudness” in the sentence: “I had to shout to be heard over the loudness of the music”. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 22 '14 at 13:21

You can consider drown out (or drown) and it fits to your example sentence also. Though, it can be used in situations where any loud sound overwhelms another sound.

For example, a very loud sound (a passing train) can make another sound (your voice) inaudible. In this case, the sound of the train drowns out your voice (or the train drowns you out). But, you can shout to drown out other sounds also just to be heard, it is not always making the other sound completely inaudible.

I had to shout so as to drown out the loudness of the music.

Examples from Google Books:

He was also speaking louder to drown out the sirens that suddenly seemed to be coming from everywhere, and because he knew Caleb would say they needed to run.

[The Harris Family: A Novel By RM Johnson (2012)]

"What are you two doing home?" Noelle yelled to drown out the music.

[Fierce Overture By Gun Brooke (2010)]

If you want to specifically indicate shouting, you can consider shout down. It is used in situations where you overwhelm someone or something by shouting (or talking loudly) to be heard.

The lecturer had to shout down the entire audience to be heard.


shout down verb (transitive, adverb) to drown, overwhelm, or silence by shouting or talking loudly


  • 2
    The reason I (and, I suspect, Dan) didn’t suggest drown out is that it doesn’t really fit very well here. When a sound drowns out another, the other sound is completely overpowered and all but vanished—it is no longer clearly audible. In the case of someone shouting to be heard at all over loud music, it would take a set of superhuman lungs to actually drown out the music. The goal there is not to overpower the the music to the point that it is inaudible in comparison with one’s voice, but simply to ensure that the opposite is no longer the case. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 22 '14 at 17:36
  • @JanusBahsJacquet: Sorry, I don't agree. It can be used in these situations too. I explained the details what you exactly said. You don't know how loud the music is also. You can drown out the sound just to be heard, it is not just making completely inaudible. – ermanen Nov 22 '14 at 17:46

A general word that fits here is overcome. It will be understood from your sentence that overcoming the loudness of the music here means being heard over the music.

  • Care to explain the downvote? – Drew Nov 23 '14 at 20:56
  • Downvote, maybe, because you did not provide an example or link. – Eduard Apr 23 '18 at 14:20

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