Sound bite

A sound bite is a small clip from a recording, either audio or video, chosen for its pithiness. A sound bite may be extracted from an interview, a speech or other longer recording. Sound bites are used by news organizations, political organizations and other organizations in order to sum up the main theme of an interview or speech, or to grab the viewer’s interest so that viewer will watch the entire interview or speech. The term sound bite was coined in the late 1970s or early 1980s by the American media. While news organizations invented the sound bite, politicians quickly learned to shape their speeches in order to provide sound bites that would spread the ideas they wanted to spread. Note that sound bite is currently rendered as two separate words, without a hyphen.


“If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her,” a man mouths to a Trump sound bite as a young girl stands next to him. (USA Today)

However, as the media converged on Auriemma during a break at the Fore The Kids Charity Golf Tournament on Monday afternoon at The Hartford Golf Club, the walking sound bite barely spoke above a whisper when the questions first came his way. (The New Haven Register)

He dismissed those who “seek sound bite solutions in a world defined by complexity,” in another clear swipe at Trump. (The Japan Times)

As a society we have fallen to the 15-second sound bite for our information and from that we make our decisions. (The Juneau Empire)

“Every negative sound bite in the media captures attention and there is a ton of information but there is very little engagement or interaction.” (The Chicago Tribune)

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