1

In a composition that I am writing, I am describing the sound of a very large hovercraft, namely its propellers. I've listened to a video of one such hovercraft, and it's not a whir, or a buzz, or a drone. I just can't quite put my finger on what to call it. The best I thought of was "roar", but I think there's probably a better word than that.

I suggest you have a look at the video (Skip to about 15 seconds in) and see if you can think of a word to describe the sound.

Sample sentence: "I yelled under the ______ of the three vast propellers."

6
  • 3
    "My yelling was futile against the roar of the three vast propellers" I too, heard it as a roar. Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 12:56
  • 2
    Roar sounds good to me. Googling for hovercraft roar finds lots of results in books, web sites and newspapers.
    – user184130
    Commented Jul 7, 2018 at 17:35
  • I will observe that with many such vehicles -- hovercraft, helicopters, small prop planes, etc -- the actual sound is much less unique than ones romantic imagination wishes it to be. Helicopters in flight, eg, are essentially indistinguishable from ordinary prop planes.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Sep 5, 2018 at 22:08
  • 1
    The hover blades,underneath, seem to whoosh, while the propulsion blades roar, or have a roaring beat to them. -Those blades are slightly out of sync, so you hear beat frequencies too. Commented Sep 5, 2018 at 22:48
  • 2
    Seemingly closely related: Word for the noise made by a helicopter?
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 6:54

2 Answers 2

1

Thrum

Make a continuous rhythmic humming sound.

‘the boat's huge engines thrummed in his ears’

1
  • 3
    I think "roar" would be the word of choice. "Thrum" connotes a lower-volume humming sound. If you're on the quay, the boat's engines might seem to thrum, but if you're in the boat's engine room, you would probably say they were roaring.
    – tautophile
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 15:38
0

This is how I’d describe the sound of a helicopter… Wyump wyump wyump …but if you’re looking for a higher frequency version I’d say… Zwiss zwiss zwiss

If you’re looking for a non-onomatopoeia descriptor I’d say… “Whirring hum”

1
  • This seems to be an answer to a different question. Commented Feb 11, 2023 at 7:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.