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

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for voiceless

Contemporary Examples of voiceless

Historical Examples of voiceless

  • 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.


    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for voiceless



without a voice; mute
not articulatedvoiceless misery
lacking a musical voice
without the power or right to express an opinion
phonetics articulated without accompanying vibration of the vocal cordsin English (p) is a voiceless consonant
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

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper