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 \ -​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

Both actresses spoke of their delight in discovering the musical and of their admiration for Sher, whose breathless two-week process included two full days of table work spent dissecting and discussing the meaning of the text. Ian Malone, Vogue, "Camelot Ruled the Stage at Lincoln Center Theater’s Benefit Gala," 5 Mar. 2019 Per The Hollywood Reporter, the number was inspired by the long-running San Francisco musical revue show Beach Blanket Babylon, in which performers dress up as characters and perform satirical songs riffing on contemporary pop culture. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why the 2019 Oscars Don't Have a Host—And the Disaster That Ensued Last Time It Happened," 24 Feb. 2019 There was a musical written about it and poems composed, Holbrook said. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "London museum is livestreaming a key 21st-century artifact—festering sewage," 18 Aug. 2018 Legend served as a co-producer and star of the live NBC production, while Lloyd Webber and Rice both served as executive producers in addition to Lloyd Webber composing the music and Rice serving as the lyricist for the musical. Katherine Schaffstall, The Hollywood Reporter, "With Emmy Noms, John Legend, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice Get Closer to EGOT," 12 July 2018 The creative cast includes choreographer Amanda Tschirgi and vocal musical director Chris Hettenbach. Lisa Gueli Regnante, Howard County Times, "Old-time folk music stars kick off Glen Mar concerts [Ellicott City]," 21 June 2018 Based on the 1992 animated film of the same name, the musical tells the story of a lovable street urchin who, with the help of a genie, learns that love is not contingent on class. Brandon T. Harden,, "Review: 'Aladdin' at the Academy of Music overcomes technical difficulties to earn its place as one of the hottest tickets of the summer," 18 June 2018 The show, which also just so happens to focus on four unforgettable characters from Archie Comics, will be a musical. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Musical Riverdale Spin-Off Is Coming to The CW & It Sounds So Good," 27 Jan. 2019 Kelly's new project, which will be produced in Los Angeles, is set to be a combination of interviews and musical performances involving both celebrities and everyday people. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Kelly Clarkson's New Talk Show Is Officially Coming to TV—Here's What We Know," 26 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But for the cast, the musical is a chance to explore these familiar characters in new ways. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "The "Mean Girls" Musical Cast Is Redefining What It Means to Be a Strong Woman," 8 Mar. 2019 For the past eight decades, Dramatics, a monthly magazine for theater students and teachers, has published an annual survey of the plays and musicals that are most frequently produced by U.S. high schools. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "Kid Tested, Mother Approved," 12 Sep. 2018 Fraver reminds us that long ago, before direct mail, email, and all the ad-creating talents of technology, new plays and musicals relied on the illustrations that made up the ads in the New York Times. Toby Zinman,, "Fraver's 'Five Decades' displays the great posters of a lifetime theater-lover," 28 June 2018 The Tonys ceremony wrapped a decidedly oddball season on Broadway, when the dearth of original plays and musicals likely to withstand the test of time was redeemed primarily by a handful of superlative revivals. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "The 72nd Annual Tony Awards: TV Review," 11 June 2018 Not accepting children's plays, musicals, adaptations of copyrighted material, or translation. Mark Rapp,, "Cleveland theater's auditions for April 27 and Beyond: Ohio Shakespere Festival's 2018-19 Season & More," 27 Apr. 2018 Fox instead aired a prerecorded dress rehearsal, then ended the three-hour musical with a live performance of the show’s closing songs that lasted about 15 minutes. ... John Jurgensen, WSJ, "Salvaged ‘Rent’ Signals Trouble for Live TV Musicals," 28 Jan. 2019 The show, however, went on: The cast read and sang through the show that evening, and staged a full production of the musical's second act. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "'Rent' Composer Jonathan Larson's Legacy Lives On," 25 Jan. 2019 And as Anne Thompson explains at Indiewire, there are a few reasons that a movie might be submitted as a drama at the Globes, instead of as a comedy/musical. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Why A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody aren’t musicals, according to the Golden Globes," 6 Dec. 2018

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

14 Mar 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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of or relating to a parable or parabola

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