Definition of vocal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvəʊk(ə)l/


1Relating to the human voice: non-linguistic vocal effects like laughs and sobs
More example sentences
  • It does this by filtering out sounds by frequency - usually around the normal vocal range of human voices.
  • These songs plumb the depths of vocal technique and of human emotion, and Martel demonstrated a command of her instrument which one is hard put to compare with any other singer of her calibre.
  • Dunbar contends that humans evolved vocal grooming as a more efficient form of bonding.
vocalized, voiced, spoken, said, uttered, expressed, articulated, oral, by mouth
1.1 Anatomy Used in the production of speech sounds: the vocal apparatus
More example sentences
  • Our vocal apparatus can produce a large diversity of sounds.
  • There may also be evolutionary specializations of the motor system, for example to allow stronger voluntary control of the vocal apparatus.
  • Finally, tension in the shoulders, neck and upper back often make people over-work their vocal muscles.
2(Of music) consisting of or incorporating singing: a four-part vocal composition a vocal bass line
More example sentences
  • When Barber began work on the score of Vanessa in 1954, he was already regarded as one of the US's foremost composers of orchestral and vocal music.
  • Their style is melodic driving rock, with textured guitars and strong vocal harmony lines.
  • He never studied abroad and never composed any vocal music.
3Expressing opinions or feelings freely or loudly: he was vocal in condemning the action
More example sentences
  • You're correct that the populist view is not necessarily the right view, but those with centre-left leaning are more generally more vocal in their opinions.
  • Professor Fraser said that he believed that ‘Council and just perhaps the Vice Chancellor did not realise the depth of opinion and how vocal it could be’.
  • It's good to see the St. Vincent de Paul Society becoming more vocal and putting its opinions and vast experience on record in the media.
vociferous, outspoken, forthright, plain-spoken, blunt, frank, direct, candid, open, uninhibited;
vehement, vigorous, emphatic, insistent, forceful, keen, zealous, enthusiastic;
clamorous, strident, loud, noisy
archaic free-spoken


(often vocals)
1A part of a piece of music that is sung: a clear guitar backing topped with haunting vocals I was singing along with the vocal
More example sentences
  • For me, in terms of making music, I like melodies and vocals and chords and things like that.
  • Sekouba's lead vocal soars along new melodies of his own invention and in his own language.
  • You can also let Music Mixer strip out the vocals from music you already have.
1.1A musical performance involving singing.
Example sentences
  • Gahan's voice sounds very clean and warm as opposed to the bravura that occupies much of his vocals and performance.
  • Attempts at performing his own vocals on his records just never seemed to deliver.
  • Dodo Nkishi, who debuts his vocals on this album, was in full force at the gig.



Pronunciation: /və(ʊ)ˈkalɪti/
Example sentences
  • Brooks's song fulfills the call of critics like Neil Nehring, who states that ‘emotion… supplies a missing link… between tactile vocality and meaning’.
  • On application, season ticket applicants and members could be asked to quantify their vocality and their willingness to join, or indeed start, chants on a scale of 1-10.
  • Encoded within the sense of loss of not being able wholly share my practice with her, was the realization that this was the process of discovering my own vocality.


Late Middle English: from Latin vocalis, from vox, voc- (see voice). Current senses of the noun date from the 1920s.

Words that rhyme with vocal

bifocal, focal, local, univocal, varifocal, yokel

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: vocal

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