mu·​si·​cal | \ ˈmyü-zi-kəl How to pronounce musical (audio) \

Definition of musical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of or relating to music
b : having the pleasing harmonious qualities of music : melodious
2 : having an interest in or talent for music
3 : set to or accompanied by music
4 : of or relating to musicians or music lovers



Definition of musical (Entry 2 of 2)

1 archaic : musicale
2 : a film or theatrical production typically of a sentimental or humorous nature that consists of musical numbers and dialogue based on a unifying plot

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Other Words from musical


musically \ ˈmyü-​zi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce musically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for musical

Synonyms: Adjective

euphonious, lyric, lyrical, mellifluent, mellifluous, mellow, melodic, melodious

Antonyms: Adjective


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Examples of musical in a Sentence


She has a very musical voice. the musical sounds of the babbling brook

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

A few months later Sommer landed a role in the musical Hair in Los Angeles. Liesl Bradner, Time, "Not Everyone Who Performed at Woodstock Is Famous 50 Years Later. Here's What Happened to One Forgotten Star," 12 Aug. 2019 The robust 1969 musical, with Barbra Streisand playing the indomitable (and quite tuneful) 1890s New York City matchmaker Dolly Levi, comes back to theaters in honor of its 50th anniversary. Chris Kaltenbach,, "Things to do in Baltimore this week: Hot August Music Festival, Vegan Restaurant Week and more," 11 Aug. 2019 Toy and Wing appeared together in the short musical, Deviled Ham, and toured with Chico Marx, of the Marx Brothers fame. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Remembering Dorothy Toy, a Dazzling Asian-American Tap Dance Star," 5 Aug. 2019 The building represents the German immigrant heritage of Indiana and has served as a center of musical, political and social life from the late 1800s to today. Natalia E. Contreras, Indianapolis Star, "Summer day trips: Here's your guide to must see historic landmarks in Indiana," 25 July 2019 The biting satirical musical that mocks Mormons received a rousing reception in its first-ever showing in the heart of Salt Lake City. Kerry Lengel, azcentral, "How to score $25 tickets for ‘The Book of Mormon,’ returning to ASU Gammage Aug. 6-11," 24 July 2019 Walt Disney’s remake of the 1994 animated musical, The Lion King, hasn’t exactly been a roaring success. Fortune, "Should Disney Be Prepared for Live-Action Fatigue?," 20 July 2019 In honor of this milestone birthday, let’s celebrate Love’s musical, artistic, and cultural impact. Lisawhill, Longreads, "Live Through This: Courtney Love at 55," 9 July 2019 The brash role of John Adams, the primary protagonist of the musical, is boldly played by Rachel Swords., "Playmakers in Covington presents ‘1776’ with a twist: The cast is mostly women," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For White — an Indiana native who considered a career in opera before discovering musicals at an arts academy in Michigan — the aspiration seemed limitless thanks to forerunners like McDonald. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "More actors of color are being cast in roles traditionally played by whites — while feeling extra pressure to succeed," 9 Aug. 2019 The oldest kid once loved Broadway musicals, but hasn’t asked me to drive up to NYC once this year. Jeff Bogle, Good Housekeeping, "My Daughters are Ditching Their Big Dreams for Their Cell Phones," 8 Aug. 2019 The two-time Tony nominee, 40, currently has two hit musicals playing on the Great White Way, both based on blockbuster films. Nigel Smith,, "Broadway Director Alex Timbers on What 'Unites' His Musicals Moulin Rouge! and Beetlejuice," 31 July 2019 Things don’t go exactly as planned, though, in this sweetly comic musical with a sci-fi twist. Matthew J. Palm,, "In ‘Be More Chill,’ George Salazar loves helping others ... from the bathroom," 16 July 2019 Charnin went on to write lyrics for dozens of productions, including seven Broadway musicals. Rachel Yang,, "Martin Charnin, creator of beloved Annie musical, dies at 84," 7 July 2019 On the weekend, see live musicals at the Post Playhouse. Kristi Valentini, Woman's Day, "These Summer Vacation Spots Are the Hidden Gems of the Midwest," 25 June 2019 This year’s highlights include musicals such as Hadestown and The Cher Show, and plays such as Choir Boy and Ink. Vogue, "Tony Awards 2019 Red Carpet Live: All the Celebrity Dresses and Fashion," 9 June 2019 While there are elements of the movie in the musical, the plot also has significant variations. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Pomerado News, "REVIEW: ‘Matilda the Musical’ has surprise twists on movie’s plot," 24 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'musical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of musical


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1823, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for musical


Middle English, from Medieval Latin musicalis, from musica

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Statistics for musical

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for musical

The first known use of musical was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for musical



English Language Learners Definition of musical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to music
: having the pleasing qualities of music
: enjoying music : having a talent for playing music



English Language Learners Definition of musical (Entry 2 of 2)

: a movie or play that tells a story with songs and often dancing


mu·​si·​cal | \ ˈmyü-zi-kəl How to pronounce musical (audio) \

Kids Definition of musical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having to do with music or the writing or performing of music musical instruments
2 : pleasing like music a musical voice
3 : fond of or talented in music a musical family
4 : set to music a musical play

Other Words from musical

musically adverb a musically talented child



Kids Definition of musical (Entry 2 of 2)

: a movie or play that tells a story with both speaking and singing

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Comments on musical

What made you want to look up musical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period when something is suspended

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