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voiceless

[vois-lis]
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adjective
  1. having no voice; mute.
  2. uttering no words; silent.
  3. having an unmusical voice.
  4. unspoken; unuttered: voiceless sympathy.
  5. having no vote or right of choice.
  6. Phonetics. (of a speech sound)
    1. without voice; unvoiced; surd; aphonic (contrasted with voiced): “p,” “f,” and “s” are voiceless.
    2. uttered without phonation.
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Origin of voiceless

First recorded in 1525–35; voice + -less
Related formsvoice·less·ly, adverbvoice·less·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for voiceless

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The suddenness of it all held Mary voiceless for long seconds.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • I was alone in this voiceless temple of so many wonderful sounds.

    The First Violin

    Jessie Fothergill

  • He again gave his boy that sidelong look and laughed his voiceless laugh.

    The Downfall

    Emile Zola

  • Razumov ran forward unsteadily, with parted, voiceless lips.

    Under Western Eyes

    Joseph Conrad

  • She was the tender and voiceless siren of this appalling navigator.

    Falk

    Joseph Conrad


British Dictionary definitions for voiceless

voiceless

adjective
  1. without a voice; mute
  2. not articulatedvoiceless misery
  3. lacking a musical voice
  4. silent
  5. without the power or right to express an opinion
  6. phonetics articulated without accompanying vibration of the vocal cordsin English (p) is a voiceless consonant
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Derived Formsvoicelessly, adverbvoicelessness, 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 voiceless

adj.

1530s, "unable to speak," from voice (n.) + -less. Meaning "having no say in affairs" is from 1630s; that of "unspoken, unuttered" is from 1816. In phonology, "unvoiced," from 1867. Related: Voicelessly; voicelessness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper