• synonyms


  1. of, relating to, or uttered with the voice: the vocal mechanism; vocal criticism.
  2. rendered by or intended for singing: vocal music.
  3. having a voice: A dog is a vocal, but not a verbal, being.
  4. giving forth sound with or as with a voice.
  5. inclined to express oneself in words, especially copiously or insistently: a vocal advocate of reform.
  6. Phonetics.
    1. vocalic(def 1).
    2. voiced.
Show More
  1. a vocal sound.
  2. a musical piece for a singer, usually with instrumental accompaniment.Compare instrumental(def 6).
Show More

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


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vocality

Historical Examples

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

    The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886

    Ministry of Education

  • 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


  1. of, relating to, or designed for the voicevocal music
  2. produced or delivered by the voicevocal noises
  3. connected with an attribute or the production of the voicevocal organs
  4. frequently disposed to outspoken speech, criticism, etca vocal minority
  5. full of sound or voicesa vocal assembly
  6. endowed with a voice
  7. eloquent or meaningful
  8. phonetics
    1. of or relating to a speech sound
    2. of or relating to a voiced speech sound, esp a vowel
Show More
  1. a piece of jazz or pop music that is sung
  2. a performance of such a piece of music
Show More
Derived Formsvocality (vəʊˈkælɪtɪ), nounvocally, adverb

Word Origin

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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

vocality in Medicine


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