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Consider the following example sentence:

Sound is a form of energy that travels in all directions.

How to do you say "in all directions" (which is shown as bold in example sentence) in a single word? There's even shorter than that (all around):

Sound is a form of energy that travels all around.

I have a single word "round" [adverb]:

Sound is a form of energy that travels round.

... which doesn't satisfy me at all, as it denotes a circular motion:

ADVERB 1. so as to rotate or cause rotation; with circular motion.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – tchrist Jan 5 at 20:59
  • What is the context in which you need to express this in a single word? – Daron Jan 9 at 14:54
101

You could use omnidirectionally, though it might sound a bit too technical.

Alternatively, "everywhere" could also be used.

Note 1: Just in case the link above stops working, according to Oxford Dictionaries (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/omnidirectionally) "omnidirectionally" means, precisely, "in all directions".

Note 2: Where I said above that the word might sound too technical, I was speaking from a linguistic point of view, in full agreement with some members' view of the word provided as "awful". However, this is ELU, not an engineering site, and if there is a mistake, it lies with the original sentence which refers to the sound travelling in all directions. I'm not interested in engineering here but in providing an answer to the question which, I remind you, is how to say in all directions in a single word. The prefix omni- means "all", just like the original sentence: therefore, I merely answered what was asked.

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    Correct... But unfortunately quite awful. Ironically, this single word is also longer than the original three words. – henning -- reinstate Monica Jan 3 at 15:07
25

A common everyday adverb is radially

From Cambridge Dictionary "in a way that spreads out from a central point"
Example: Gravitational field lines spread out radially from the centre of the Earth.

Whilst it is most often applied in a planar 2D fashion, it can equally be applied to describe travel to or from a point in 3D.

Sound is a form of energy that travels radially.

see Radially Propagating Sound Waves note that since the web is not yet 3D this sample will look like its seen by a flat earth observer. and for the record here is an image of an omnidirectional radially quaquaversal sound wave.

enter image description here

Technically for radio an Omnidirectional antenna radiates toroidally about one axis. I have also seen omnidirectional also applied to microphones that pick up and speakers that emanate, sound from all around at one level.
"What is meant by omnidirectional when it comes to sound? ... sound from all directions around it.... Although claiming to be omnidirectional, none of them are really spherical." enter image description here

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    @Chemomechanics In the OP’s example, I think radially works very well. In that context, “from the source” is strongly implied: there’s no other natural point of emanation. – Lawrence Jan 3 at 4:23
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    Really interesting thing .... unfortunately I think radially inevitably and always means in a flat plane. I don't think I have ever seen it used to mean spherically. So, the "Earth" example quoted here from Cambridge is, for me - simply wrong! For me the linked animation indeed shows a radial (2d!) plane of interest! I think at best we can say using "radially is dangerous, since, it almost always is used in a planar sense." – Fattie Jan 3 at 12:11
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    Radially is modifying quaquaversal in this sentence. Omnidirectional is the word meaning in all directions – Kevin Jan 3 at 13:20
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    The problem with "radially" is that it only implies an orientation of one set to another set, it doesn't fully describe the set. In other words, a single vector coming out of a source point is "emitting radially" (versus tangential). It sounds like what the OP meant in the question was, "the set of all radial vectors." If you shoot a laser from the center of a sphere, it's emitting radially. But that's not the same as, say, soundwaves, which are emitting in all directions from the source. – dwizum Jan 3 at 15:01
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    I don't mean to contrast light vs sound physically, but rather the fact that "radial" implies a spatial relationship between two sets, and does not fully describe the set or imply "in all directions." Radial does not mean "in all directions," it just means a straight line from a focus that's perpendicular to a curve. You're right, the soundwaves move radially - that is not incorrect. But if you're specifically trying to imply "in all directions" then "omnidirectionally" is more accurate. Saying "X moves radially" can apply to lots of things that are NOT omnidirectional. – dwizum Jan 3 at 16:04
6

It doesn't cover all directions, but it might be more accurate to say that sound spreads outward from some point.

That would seem to cover all the directions that sound generally travels, excluding odd exceptions such as sound travelling inwards or reflecting in other odd directions.

From Merriam-Webster, "outward":

adverb: 1. toward the outside

adjective: 1. moving, directed, or turned toward the outside or away from a center

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    outward does not seem to imply in all directions, though – crizzis Jan 4 at 19:38
  • Please explain in your own words why you think this answers the question. Right now it has no explanation and thus is not an answer. – tchrist Jan 5 at 14:55
0

Isotropical(ly) would be an alternative for (equal) in all directions.

exhibiting properties (such as velocity of light transmission) with the same values when measured along axes in all directions

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    This is wrong: firstly it's an adjective (when the OP is asking for an adverb), and secondly isotropic means much more than just "in all directions", it means "exhibiting properties (such as velocity of light transmission) with the same values when measured along axes in all directions" (my emphasis). There's an important semantic difference here. NB if you post a link, please add a description or quote from the source: an answer with an unexplained link risks being deleted. For further guidance, see How to Answer and take the EL&U Tour :-) – Chappo Says Reinstate Monica Jan 3 at 11:59
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    Yeah, I think 'isotropically' is the word here: en.wiktionary.org/wiki/isotropically From a version of that cow joke, "Assume a spherical cow in a vacuum, radiating milk isotropically". – Graham Jan 3 at 14:15
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    Sound propagates isotropically only when the surrounding medium is homogeneous and isotropic and the source is motionless. – Chemomechanics Jan 3 at 15:52
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    @Chemomechanics Yes, this goes to the heart of why isotropically is incorrect: the word includes additional meaning beyond the mere "in all directions" requirement. Distorted propagation (e.g. if the source is in motion) can still be "in all directions" but by definition it can't be isotropic, hence why an ambulance siren sounds different after it goes past you. – Chappo Says Reinstate Monica Jan 4 at 2:08
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    Please explain in your own words why you think this answers the question. Right now it has no explanation and thus is not an answer. – tchrist Jan 5 at 14:57
-1

A verb, rather than an adverb, but disperse comes to mind:

disperse (dĭ-spûrsˈ)

v. To drive off or scatter in different directions: ”The police dispersed the crowd.”
v. To strew or distribute widely: ”The airplane dispersed the leaflets over the city.”
v. To cause to vanish or disappear.

(Definitions from: https://www.wordnik.com/words/disperse)

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    Please explain in your own words why you think this answers the question. Right now it has no explanation and thus is not an answer. – tchrist Jan 5 at 14:55
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    Hi Zrajm, welcome to EL&U. I've downvoted this post because it's wrong: (1) the OP is not looking for a verb - the sentence "Sound is a form of energy that travels disperse" makes no sense; (2) disperse doesn't even imply all directions, just different directions; and (3) even if you used the related adverb dispersively, this could be problematic given the special meanings of dispersion in chemistry and physics. It's worthwhile to review our guidance on How to Answer and take the EL&U Tour :-) – Chappo Says Reinstate Monica Jan 5 at 23:25
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circumvent

From Oxford Dictionaries:

1 to find a way around (an obstacle).

1.1 overcome (a problem or difficulty) in a clever and surreptitious way.

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    Please explain in your own words why you think this answers the question. Right now it has no explanation and thus is not an answer. – tchrist Jan 5 at 14:55
-2

Sound propagates uniformly from the source.

From Oxford Online:

Uniformly: Adverb: With equal space between each or in equal amounts; evenly.

What you want to say is the amount of sound that propagates in any two directions are equal.

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    Sound propagates uniformly only when the surrounding medium is homogeneous and isotropic and the source is motionless. – Chemomechanics Jan 3 at 15:53
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    Uniformly doesn't mean in all directions, it means "with equal space between each or in equal amounts; evenly" - which is quite a different thing. Daron, this is why we insist on answers with more detail, preferably citing a published definition or other reference. Six words is inadequate; your post will almost certainly end up in the Low Quality review queue, to be considered for deletion. Can I recommend you read How to Answer? :-) – Chappo Says Reinstate Monica Jan 4 at 1:31

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