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Borrowing from Latin susurrus (a humming, whispering); reduplication of imitative Proto-Indo-European *swer- (to buzz, hum).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈsuː.sə.ɹəs/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈsu.sə.ɹəs/, /səˈsəɹ.əs/


susurrus (plural susurruses)

  1. (literary) A whispering or rustling sound; a murmur.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of De Quincey to this entry?)
    The soft susurrus and sighs of the branches. — Longfellow.
    • 2000, George R. R. Martin, A Storm of Swords, →ISBN, page 555:
      They heard the Green Fork before they saw it, an endless susurrus, like the growl of some great beast.
    • 2004, Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram: A Novel, →ISBN, page 613:
      I sipped at a drink and smoked cigarettes in a silence so profound that I could hear the susurrus of the blindfold's soft fabric rustle and slip between my fingers.
    • 2007, Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind, →ISBN, page 301:
      I walked steadily toward the pennant pole amid a sea of susurrus murmurings.
    • 2008, Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book, →ISBN, page 262:
      Bod could feel the Sleer listening to Jack's words, could feel a low susurrus of excitement building in the chamber.

Related terms[edit]




Reduplication of imitative Proto-Indo-European *swer- (to buzz, hum). See also Latin surdus, Lithuanian surma (a pipe), Russian свире́ль (svirélʹ, a pipe, reed).



susurrus m (genitive susurrī); second declension

  1. whisper
  2. murmur


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative susurrus susurrī
genitive susurrī susurrōrum
dative susurrō susurrīs
accusative susurrum susurrōs
ablative susurrō susurrīs
vocative susurre susurrī



  • susurrus in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • susurrus in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • susurrus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette