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  1. of, relating to, or producing music: a musical instrument.
  2. of the nature of or resembling music; melodious; harmonious.
  3. fond of or skilled in music.
  4. set to or accompanied by music: a musical entertainment.
  1. Also called musical comedy. a play or motion picture in which the story line is interspersed with or developed by songs, dances, and the like.

Origin of musical

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English word from Medieval Latin word mūsicālis. See music, -al1
Related formsmu·si·cal·ly, adverbmu·si·cal·i·ty, mu·si·cal·ness, nounan·ti·mu·si·cal, adjectivean·ti·mu·si·cal·ly, adverban·ti·mu·si·cal·ness, nounnon·mu·si·cal, adjectivenon·mu·si·cal·ly, adverbnon·mu·si·cal·ness, nounpre·mu·si·cal, adjectivepre·mu·si·cal·ly, adverbqua·si-mu·si·cal, adjectivequa·si-mu·si·cal·ly, adverbun·mu·si·cal·i·ty, noun
Can be confusedmusical musicale

Synonyms for musical

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for musicality

Historical Examples of musicality

  • From this standpoint it follows that musicality as such is capable of cultivation apart from instrumental performance.

British Dictionary definitions for musicality


  1. of, relating to, or used in musica musical instrument
  2. harmonious; melodiousmusical laughter
  3. talented in or fond of music
  4. involving or set to musica musical evening
  1. short for musical comedy
Derived Formsmusically, adverbmusicalness or musicality, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for musicality

1812, from musical (adj.) + -ity.



early 15c., "pertaining to music; tuneful, harmonious; adept at making music," from Middle French musical (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin musicalis, from Latin musica (see music). Musical box is from 1829. Children's game musical chairs is attested from 1877, hence use of musical as a modifier meaning "changing rapidly from one to another possessor" (1924). Related: Musically.



"theatrical piece in which music figures prominently," 1937, from musical (adj.) in musical play. Earlier as a noun it meant "musical instrument" (c.1500), "musical performance" (1570s); "musical party" (1823, a sense now in musicale).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

musicality in Culture


A play or film that contains musical numbers. Musicals can be comedic (see musical comedy) or serious in tone, such as Porgy and Bess.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.