[ voh-kuh-leez ]
/ ˌvoʊ kəˈliz /


a musical composition consisting of the singing of melody with vowel sounds or nonsense syllables rather than text, as for special effect in classical compositions, in polyphonic jazz singing by special groups, or in virtuoso vocal exercises.
any such singing exercise or vocalized melody.

Origin of vocalise

1870–75; < French vocalise, apparently noun derivative of vocaliser to vocalize, with -ise taken as a noun suffix (see -ise2)

Definition for vocalise (2 of 3)

[ voh-kuh-lahyz ]
/ ˈvoʊ kəˌlaɪz /

verb (used with or without object), vo·cal·ised, vo·cal·is·ing.

Chiefly British. vocalize.

Definition for vocalise (3 of 3)

[ voh-kuh-lahyz ]
/ ˈvoʊ kəˌlaɪz /

verb (used with object), vo·cal·ized, vo·cal·iz·ing.

verb (used without object), vo·cal·ized, vo·cal·iz·ing.

Also especially British, vo·cal·ise.

Origin of vocalize

First recorded in 1660–70; vocal + -ize


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for vocalise

  • These are followed by a vocalise or two, and a couple of songs or arias, which fill out the thirty minutes.

  • There are, I am aware, certain races who are unable to vocalise certain sounds and accordingly modify them.

    Archaic England|Harold Bayley

British Dictionary definitions for vocalise (1 of 2)

/ (ˌvəʊkəˈliːz) /


a musical passage sung upon one vowel as an exercise to develop flexibility and control of pitch and tone; solfeggio

British Dictionary definitions for vocalise (2 of 2)



/ (ˈvəʊkəˌlaɪz) /


to express with or use the voice; articulate (a speech, song, etc)
(tr) to make vocal or articulate
(tr) phonetics
  1. to articulate (a speech sound) with voice
  2. to change (a consonant) into a vowel
another word for vowelize
(intr) to sing a melody on a vowel, etc

Derived forms of vocalize

vocalization or vocalisation, nounvocalizer or vocaliser, 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