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Onomatopoeic; from Latin susurrus ‎(a humming, whispering); likely from an older echoic word.


  • (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 9780553106633, 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 0312330529, 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 9780756404741, page 301:
      I walked steadily toward the pennant pole amid a sea of susurrus murmurings.
    • 2008, Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book, ISBN 0060530928, 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