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.
  1. a vocal sound.
  2. 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. 2018

Examples from the Web for vocally

Contemporary Examples of vocally

Historical Examples of vocally

  • She slept soundly and vocally, but her husband did not close his eyes.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • It looked to her like a waste of type, that could not be vocally made use of.

    Jane Allen: Center

    Edith Bancroft

  • The potentialities, so to speak, of the printed poem, must be vocally realized.

  • Vocally she was the Salome of Richard Strauss, and she was lovely to behold.

  • The joyous, youthful essence of their song so charmed me that I forgot my weariness and vocally ventured to imitate it.

British Dictionary definitions for vocally


  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
  1. a piece of jazz or pop music that is sung
  2. 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 vocally



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

vocally in Medicine


  1. Of or relating to the voice.
  2. 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.