I'm looking for verb that fits for "make your heartbeat audible/hearable".

But not a verb that describes the action with our sense organ, like in "hear your heartbeat" or in "see your heartbeat". More like "visualize your heartbeat", but for hearing.

  • 4
    Do you mean like amplify? – Jim Oct 31 '17 at 17:32
  • feel the beating of your heart? – Farhan Oct 31 '17 at 17:41
  • 2
    @bbjay - amplify has to do with amplitude not frequency. – Jim Oct 31 '17 at 17:43
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    @AmI 'sonify' it is! I will gladly accept that as an answer if you post it as one. – bbjay Oct 31 '17 at 19:13
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    No - I didn't like it because a heartbeat is already audible under the right conditions. Sonification requires a transduction (change of form), such as a VU meter visualizes sound, or a Theremin sonifies gestures. 'Audibilize' is a more general word, since it includes sound amplification as well. – AmI Oct 31 '17 at 20:05

I'm not aware of a specific word that would be well-understood to mean what you want. I think what you would use to get the idea across would have to be something approximate, being either slightly off or slightly too broad.

I personally would choose "amplify", given the context you suggest:

  • I am using this stethoscope to amplify your heartbeat.

This isn't quite what you're asking for, but a typical english language speaker would definitely infer "listen intently, at an enhanced volume" from "amplify".

Other options just seem too far from what you're asking. The most direct verb is just "hear", and clearly that isn't what you're looking for. The closest thing to "visualize" would be "hear in my head" and that's not even remotely what you want.

There may be some esoteric word that does mean exactly what you want, but I suspect it's not well-known and thus may not really be the best choice, unless this is meant for a very specific audience that is aware of its meaning.

  • +1 Lots of things can be amplified, and sound is one of them. "Amplify the sound" is the simple, instantly understandable phrase. As for visualizing the heartbeat, which the OP uses as an analogy, that can be done on an oscilloscope. – ab2 Apr 2 '18 at 20:47

According to the OED "louden" means "Make or become louder." So, according to the OED, you would "louden your heartbeat" eg. using an amplifier!


I have to admit however, "louden" sounds a bit unwieldy! You could, as suggested by @jim "amplify" or if it doesn't need to be a single word "audibly amplify" or "render audible" as @FumbleFingers suggests.

Id just add that the OED definition of "amplify" is "Increase the volume of (sound), especially using an amplifier."


Sadly I don't think "Audibilize" or "sonify" are currently in the OED - however, maybe it's time they were!

  • You linked to ODO (Oxford Online Dictionary), not OED. The OED, found at OED.com, has different definitions for louden or amplify. – Laurel Nov 3 '17 at 1:40
  • Thanks Lauren! I stand corrected. So, does the definition for "louden" in the OED still work? It is much the same in most of the online dictionaries. – Harry Tuttle Nov 3 '17 at 12:30

You might consider using the verb to sound. Below are the definitions that might pertain to your word usage choice, from Merriam-Webster:


transitive verb
1a : to cause to sound
sound a trumpet

3a: to make known
b: to order, signal, or indicate by a sound
sound the alarm

intransitive verb
1a : to make a sound
c: to give a summons by sound
the bugle sounds to battle

In your case, the phrase could then be formed like sound your heartbeat or the like, to mean to make your heartbeat audible. It's sort of like saying sound the drums to mean strike the drums to make a sound as well.


The auditory analogy with ‘visual’ is ... ‘auditory’. So that the verb that corresponds to ‘visualise’, if it existed, would be ...’auditoryise’.? ... ‘auditorialise’? Well, no wonder nobody has ever coined it: it would be a real clunker. I would stick to your idea of imagining the sound of your heart beating. It is quite clear.

  • The OED also attests as adjectives beginning with audi- all of audible, audient, audile, auditive, auditorial, auditory, and auditual. You'll have to check for yourself whether any apply. – tchrist Dec 3 '17 at 2:43
  • @tchrist Yes, in a way. However, don’t we have to balance the relative merits of finding a single but unfamiliar word or coinage, which most readers will have to look up or at least look up, against the clarity of a simple phrase or clause? Possibly a poet might, though in the list you have shown I do not see any word a poet would jump to. Perhaps, if imagining sounds in your head became an essential part of musical composition, we might have such a word. But I know of no composer or jazz soloist who has found such a word necessary in explaining his/her art. But nothing doing here either. – Tuffy Dec 3 '17 at 10:47

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