Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.-Propagation of...
that is primarily a psychological correlate of physical strength (amplitude
Amplitude is the magnitude of change in the oscillating variable with each oscillation within an oscillating system. For example, sound waves in air are oscillations in atmospheric pressure and their amplitudes are proportional to the change in pressure during one oscillation...
). More formally, it is defined as "that attribute of auditory sensation in terms of which sounds can be ordered on a scale extending from quiet to loud."
Loudness, a subjective measure, is often confused with objective measures of sound strength such as sound pressure
Sound pressure or acoustic pressure is the local pressure deviation from the ambient atmospheric pressure caused by a sound wave. Sound pressure can be measured using a microphone in air and a hydrophone in water...
, sound pressure level (in decibels), sound intensity
Sound intensity or acoustic intensity is defined as the sound power Pac per unit area A. The usual context is the noise measurement of sound intensity in the air at a listener's location.-Acoustic intensity:...
or sound power.