mu·​si·​cal | \ˈmyü-zi-kəl \

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 \ 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

Before logging miles on this afternoon hike, we are treated to a soothing musical performance on the clavichord, an instrument dating back to 14th century Japan whose gentle notes amplify the enchanting whisper of the forest. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "Can the New Hermès Apple Watch Actually Help You Unplug?," 19 Nov. 2018 But while the new best friends may have just met each other, Clarkson has appeared on the Today show with Guthrie multiple times, from musical performances to sit-down interviews. Temi Adebowale, Country Living, "Kelly Clarkson and Savannah Guthrie's Daughters Are BFFs and 'Cannot be Separated'," 12 Oct. 2018 The new German outreach campaign will see more than 1,000 events across the country over the coming year, including debates, musical performances, art exhibitions, soccer competitions and — of course — beer festivals. Fox News, "Germany seeks to woo Americans amid rocky Trump relationship," 3 Oct. 2018 Look forward to a wide range of musical performances ranging in genre from jazz to reggae to acoustic rock to bluegrass and more. Grace Dickinson,, "Taylor Swift, 'Star Wars' with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and other great events in Philadelphia, July 13-20," 12 July 2018 Stuart Oliver Knussen was born into a musical family in Glasgow on June 12, 1952. Michael Cooper, New York Times, "Oliver Knussen, ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ Composer, Dies at 66," 9 July 2018 Tuesday's special event featured a fashion show, musical performance and art display. Siobhán O'grady, Washington Post, "Macron loosens up trip to Nigeria with visit to legendary Lagos nightclub," 4 July 2018 After Saturday’s musical performance, the Native Veterans Group of Illinois will present three Eagle Staffs, while a drummer performs a ceremonial flag song native to that veteran’s tribe. Yadira Sanchez Olson, Lake County News-Sun, "Gurnee Medal of Honor recipient to join festival honoring veterans at Chicagoland Speedway," 29 June 2018 Joseph Walter Jackson, who aspired to be a musician himself, instead became the mastermind behind the most successful musical family in pop history, attracting much controversy along the way. Monée Fields-white, The Root, "Joe Jackson, Controversial Patriarch of a Musical Dynasty, Has Died at 89," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Streep played Donna Sheridan, the lead character from both the Mamma Mia! movie and the Broadway musical of the same name. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Lily James Talks About the Pressure of Playing a Young Meryl Streep," 13 Oct. 2018 Bernstein’s complete oeuvre is massive, spawning everything from Broadway musicals to jazz singles to symphonies and ballets. Aja Romano, Vox, "Leonard Bernstein gave American music so much more than West Side Story.," 25 Aug. 2018 The Broadway musical about the pop phenomenon Gloria Estefan and her producer/musician husband Emilio Estefan sets itself a difficult task. Christopher Arnott,, "Hot, Timely 'On Your Feet!' Delivers Estefans' Indomitable Spirit," 20 June 2018 Released April 17 on Blu-ray: Les Girls: Gene Kelly stars in his final MGM musical, a glitzy 1957 show-biz romp with music by Cole Porter. Chris Ball,, "Diane Kruger stars in 'In the Fade,' now on DVD and Blu-ray (review)," 8 May 2018 In Provo, Utah, sisters Cristal and Alisa Ramirez watched along with besties McKenna Petty and Katie Henderson and set about turning their musical after school meetups into a career. Janine Schaults,, "How The Aces made a 'volcanic' dream come true," 25 Apr. 2018 For ages 8 to 18, take to the NCTC stage in one of their school-year musicals. Courant Community, "Community News For The Wethersfield Edition," 27 Mar. 2018 But mid-way through the song, fellow coach, Kelly Clarkson, stood up in amazement at GreyCloud's musical runs. Eileen Reslen, Country Living, "'The Voice' Fans Think Jennifer Hudson Made a Huge Mistake Last Night," 17 Oct. 2018 While the musical will center on her life, Diana's 1997 death in a Paris car crash will be addressed in an epilogue. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "The Princess Diana Musical Is Coming to Broadway," 9 Oct. 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

5 Dec 2018

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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 \

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).


to make faulty or ineffective

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