vo·​cal | \ ˈvō-kəl How to pronounce vocal (audio) \

Definition of vocal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : uttered by the voice : oral
b : produced in the larynx : uttered with voice
2a : given to expressing oneself freely or insistently : outspoken a highly vocal critic
b : having or exercising the power of producing voice, speech, or sound
d : full of voices : resounding
e : expressed in words
3 : relating to, composed or arranged for, or sung by the human voice vocal music
4 : of, relating to, or resembling the voice vocal impairment
5 : vocalic



Definition of vocal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a vocal sound
2 : a usually accompanied musical composition for the human voice : song also : a performance of such a composition

Other Words from vocal


vocality \ vō-​ˈka-​lə-​tē How to pronounce vocal (audio) \ noun
vocally \ ˈvō-​kə-​lē How to pronounce vocal (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for vocal

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of vocal in a Sentence

Adjective music with vocal and instrumental parts She is a vocal critic of the new law. He was very vocal in his criticism of me. Noun a recording artist who arranges his own vocals
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Despite the show's renewal, Pompeo has been vocal in recent months about the possibility of Grey's coming to an end. Scott Huver, PEOPLE.com, 6 May 2022 Cazares-Kelly has been vocal on social media about her support of progressive policies. Julie Luchetta, The Arizona Republic, 4 May 2022 Hilton has been vocal on social media about his thoughts on his teammate deserving to be paid. Kelsey Conway, The Enquirer, 3 May 2022 The next morning was clear and calm and the turkeys were extremely vocal; gobbles rang out from five directions. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2 May 2022 Critics of a plan to relocate youths from L.A. juvenile hall were increasingly vocal before the move. Elvia Limón, Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2022 For the last year, the Biden Administration has been vocal in supporting the growing group of judges and prosecutors under threat, but the attacks have continued. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, 29 Apr. 2022 This has emboldened a small but very vocal part of our student body to disrupt classrooms whenever issues of race, gender, religion or sexuality are raised. New York Times, 26 Apr. 2022 Although Henig was not available for comment, a small but vocal group from Yale University traveled to Atlanta for the meet, and cheered him on. Dawn Ennis, Forbes, 18 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Parton’s single was a bubbly tune punctuated by electric guitar, a rock beat, and an exuberant, youthful vocal (think fellow future Rock Hall legend Brenda Lee on helium). Stephen L. Betts, Rolling Stone, 4 May 2022 Maybe a couple bits of fiddle or a little tin-whistle or maybe a little accordion or a banjo, and then the vocal. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, 8 Mar. 2022 What starts out as a tender piano ballad gets a wash of atmospheric, wistful pop, offering a solid foil for Bonagura’s sensual, intimate vocal. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 11 Feb. 2022 The bilingual track highlights his smooth vocal, with nods to George Strait, while breezes of horns and acoustic guitar propel this country waltz, a tale of a love stemming from a chance meeting and dance after dance in a Mexican cantina. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 11 Mar. 2022 On the full-band original of this cautionary tale, the guitar line smokes and stacks up to Zimmerman’s blistering vocal. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 15 Apr. 2022 Taylor noted that during the confirmation hearings before the Judiciary Committee, Republican senators who were the most vocal in their criticisms of Jackson's sentencing record were likely laying the groundwork for a 2024 presidential run. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 14 Apr. 2022 Business leaders concerned about Five Points' flow were among the most vocal. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 17 Mar. 2022 Then one morning, three people who’d been among the most vocal at the meetings showed up at the plexiglass window of the election office. Washington Post, 14 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of vocal


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


circa 1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vocal


Middle English, from Latin vocalis, from voc-, vox voice — more at voice

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Time Traveler for vocal

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near vocal

vocabulary test


vocal chink

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Statistics for vocal

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Vocal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vocal. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for vocal


vo·​cal | \ ˈvō-kəl How to pronounce vocal (audio) \

Kids Definition of vocal

1 : uttered by the voice : oral vocal communication
2 : composed or arranged for or sung by the human voice the vocal parts of a song
3 : speaking freely or loudly : outspoken a vocal critic
4 : relating to or involved in producing the voice the vocal organs

Other Words from vocal

vocally adverb


vo·​cal | \ ˈvō-kəl How to pronounce vocal (audio) \

Medical Definition of vocal

1 : uttered by the voice : oral
2 : having or exercising the power of producing voice, speech, or sound
3 : of, relating to, or resembling the voice vocal dysfunction due to throat infection

Other Words from vocal

vocality \ vō-​ˈkal-​ət-​ē How to pronounce vocal (audio) \ noun, plural vocalities
vocally \ ˈvō-​kə-​lē How to pronounce vocal (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on vocal

Nglish: Translation of vocal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vocal for Arabic Speakers


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