a vocal sound.
a musical piece for a singer, usually with instrumental accompaniment.Compare instrumental(def 6).

Origin of vocal

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin vōcālis, equivalent to vōc- (stem of vōx) voice + -ālis -al1
Related formsvo·cal·i·ty [voh-kal-i-tee] /voʊˈkæl ɪ ti/, vo·cal·ness, nounvo·cal·ly, adverbnon·vo·cal, adjective, nounnon·vo·cal·ly, adverbnon·vo·cal·ness, nounnon·vo·cal·i·ty, noun

Synonyms for vocal

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vocality

Historical Examples of vocality

  • Should any breath be spent in aspiration, or in hissing, or in guttural enunciation, the vocality is said to be impure.

  • The sinewy pressure of Average Jones' wrist smothered further attempts at vocality to a gurgle.

    Average Jones

    Samuel Hopkins Adams

  • This, pitched on a flat and haughty level of vocality, was her method of opening the conversation.

    Little Miss Grouch

    Samuel Hopkins Adams

  • But the consonants must, of course, be distinctly articulated and not be drowned in the vocality.

  • I sat down and he put the bit of vocality in my arms, and then hastened after its dinner.

    Medoline Selwyn's Work

    Mrs. J. J. Colter

British Dictionary definitions for vocality



of, relating to, or designed for the voicevocal music
produced or delivered by the voicevocal noises
connected with an attribute or the production of the voicevocal organs
frequently disposed to outspoken speech, criticism, etca vocal minority
full of sound or voicesa vocal assembly
endowed with a voice
eloquent or meaningful
  1. of or relating to a speech sound
  2. of or relating to a voiced speech sound, esp a vowel


a piece of jazz or pop music that is sung
a performance of such a piece of music
Derived Formsvocality (vəʊˈkælɪtɪ), nounvocally, adverb

Word Origin for vocal

C14: from Latin vōcālis possessed of a voice, from vōx voice
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 vocality



late 14c., "spoken, oral," from Old French vocal, from Latin vocalis "sounding, sonorous, speaking," as a noun, "a vowel," from vox (genitive vocis) "voice" (see voice (n.)). In reference to music (as opposed to instrumental), first recorded 1580s; meaning "outspoken" first attested 1871. Vocal cords is from 1872; see cord.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

vocality in Medicine




Of or relating to the voice.
Capable of emitting sound or speech.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.