Wondering if there is a good word to fit the following:

Indicate is to lamp (or LED, light, globe, display)
Prickle is to electrical shock (or wire brush)
Buzz is to vibrator
_____ is to beeper (or speaker, bell, buzzer)

I read an instruction that mentioned an indicator but they were referring to a speaker and not a light and it felt clumsy.

I am wondering if there is a word like indicator, which has a feeling of visual sense, that would be more appropriate for auditory signalling.

Fixed word form, Added some more senses that may help direct enquiry.

The apparatus will indicate the ready state.

I am hoping that to replace the word indicate with something else in an instruction manual that would let the reader presume the ready state signal is from an audio source rather than a light source. The word sound seems old fashioned and would have matched OK with bells and buzzers of yesteryear that were often collectively referred to as sounders but would not make as much sense in the contemporary world of ear-buds, mini speakers and tiny buzzers and beepers on modern electronics. The word signal seems like a possible alternative to indicate but it does not strongly suggest audio, it could be referring to a flag that pops up so not ideal either.

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    'flash' and 'beep', unless I'm not understanding properly. – marcellothearcane Jul 27 '17 at 20:49
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    When a lamp is lit, it does not need an indicator light to show it's on, but other things like a speaker do. – Yosef Baskin Jul 27 '17 at 20:50
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    In a technical setting, annunciate/annunciator/annunciation/annunciatory work, but I wouldn't use it in instructions written using a basic vocabulary – Phil Sweet Jul 27 '17 at 21:31
  • @marcellothearcane your term beep may turn out to be the best solution even if the sound is a buzz or a ding in practice, it is more specific but still suitably descriptive. – KalleMP Jul 27 '17 at 22:01
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    @KalleMP what is the specific sound your device makes? A chirp? – PV22 Jul 28 '17 at 1:22

Sound /verb (used with object), (used without object)

  1. to cause to make or emit a sound: to sound a bell.

  2. to announce, order, or direct by or as by a sound: The bugle sounded retreat.

Source: Dictionary.com

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  • I agree that this may be the correct word instead of indicate but it does not have a good feel in the example type sentence. – KalleMP Jul 27 '17 at 21:58

The speaker or beeper will sound when activated.

From MW:

sound verb (NOISE)

[ I or T ] to make a noise:

If the alarm sounds, leave the building immediately.

It sounds like a bird.

He sounds (= speaks) just like someone I used to work with.

Sounding the car's horn, she drove at high speed through the crowded streets.

sound the alarm ​>

to cause a noise to be made or say or shout a message to warn people about something:

Quick, sound the alarm - there's a fire in the machine room!

enter image description here

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  • I agree that this may be the correct word instead of indicate but it does not have a good feel in the example type sentence. – KalleMP Jul 27 '17 at 21:58

Signal [sig-nl]


  1. anything that serves to indicate, warn, direct, command, or the like, as a light, a gesture, an act, etc.

/verb (used with object)

  1. to communicate or make known by a signal.

IMOO the word signal has a better "ring" to it, compared to indicate.

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  • I agree that signal is a good word that removes the visual assumption but does not preclude it. However it does not favour the audio aspect in any way. I think it is one step better than indicate in most cases but may not be appropriate in this instance when I am hoping to emphasize the audio nature of the signalling. – KalleMP Jul 30 '17 at 15:14

Chime: to put, bring, indicate, announce, etc.

A few other definitions from dictionary.com are shown below.

enter image description here

In the simplest case, you could say: "The device will chime when ready."

However, I personally think a little more detail would make the instructions more clear for the end user. Indicating how many times the device will chime, and what the device will do next seems like a great way to round out the sentence. As an example: "The device will chime twice when it is ready to ___"

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  • Now that I think about it, "ring" could also work. I think chime is a bit better in context though. – Dsel Jul 28 '17 at 22:37
  • Dsel I would like it to be simple and descriptive too. I am thinking of editing a wikipedia page and am stumped for a tidy word that would describe the audio aspect of the signal instead of the word indicate that always makes me think of an optical signal. I cannot be sure of what sound a generic device will make. If I was writing instructions for a specific device I would do like you suggest and be more specific. – KalleMP Jul 29 '17 at 15:34
  • The 'Chime' sound would be appropriate for Apple products that have been known to make a chime on wake up. However my goal here was to find a word that is agnostic of the type of sound but still weigh heavily on the side of a sound indication/signal rather than a visual indication/signal. – KalleMP Jul 24 '19 at 19:11

Resonate[ rez-uh-neyt ]

verb (used without object), res·o·nat·ed, res·o·nat·ing.

1) to resound.

2) to act as a resonator; exhibit resonance.

3) Electronics. to reinforce oscillations because the natural frequency of the device is the same as the frequency of the source.

4) to amplify vocal sound by the sympathetic vibration of air in certain cavities and bony structures.

verb (used with object), res·o·nat·ed, res·o·nat·ing.

5) to cause to resound.

Source: Dictionary.com

MOO: Last one... does not have any association with any other indication other than sound... Less “archaic sounding” than Resound.

If not... slap that indicator into IoT and have it text a message to your smart phone.

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  • I like the way you think and it does indeed conjure up sound (and all sorts of other vibrations electrical and mechanical) but it is not something I would expect to see in a user guide to prepare me to hear a wake-up or activity sound. It is what I would expect from a massager attached to a paint tin. – KalleMP Jul 24 '19 at 19:09

Speaker or buzzer would fit. Claxton or alarm would also work.

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  • Thank you. The word alarm is correct from the audio aspect but carries too much urgency for normal operation. – KalleMP Jul 27 '17 at 21:15

Resound [ri-zound]

verb (used without object)

1) to echo or ring with sound, as a place.

2) to make an echoing sound, or sound loudly, as a metallic object: A gong resounded.

3) to ring or be echoed, as sounds.

verb (used with object)

1) to reecho (a sound).

2) to give forth or utter loudly.

Source: Dictionary.com

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  • I think a bit too formal and loud as an auditory instrument activity indication. – KalleMP Jul 20 '19 at 10:41
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    The hunt continues – PV22 Jul 21 '19 at 2:29

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