vo·​cal·​ize | \ ˈvō-kə-ˌlīz \
vocalized; vocalizing

Definition of vocalize

transitive verb

1 : to give voice to : utter specifically : sing
2a : to make voiced rather than voiceless : voice
b : to convert to a vowel
3 : to furnish (something, such as a consonantal Hebrew or Arabic text) with vowels or vowel points

intransitive verb

1 : to utter vocal sounds
2 : sing specifically : to sing without words

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Other Words from vocalize

vocalization \ ˌvō-​kə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun
vocalizer \ ˈvō-​kə-​ˌlī-​zər \ noun

Examples of vocalize in a Sentence

The male bird vocalizes to attract a mate. she's not one to vocalize her worries

Recent Examples on the Web

He's also been praised by many for passionately vocalizing his views on issues of social justice, toxic masculinity, and mental health. refinery29.com, "Jonathan Van Ness Just Got Nommed For Two Emmys & He Cannot Believe It," 12 July 2018 There's also probably some expectation-lowering going on here as Republicans increasingly vocalize their concerns. Amber Phillips, Washington Post, "‘A wake-up call’: More and more prominent Republicans are sounding an alarm about November," 5 Apr. 2018 Seeing your struggles and fears visualized and vocalized on screen — assuming they are treated respectfully (e.g. not being played by Emma Stone a la Aloha) — is both validating and comforting. Ciara Wardlow, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Idealized Diversity of 'A Wrinkle in Time'," 9 Mar. 2018 Hopefully Markle knows better than to vocalize her support of women’s reproductive rights next time! Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "Someone Accidentally Tweeted That Meghan Markle Has an Abortion Opinion," 11 July 2018 And congressional Republicans haven’t been shy in vocalizing their hope for a vacancy on the high court before the 2018 midterm elections. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Republicans Scramble for Ways to Rev Up Their Base," 8 May 2018 Dogs, on the other hand, show stress by panting, pacing, trembling, vocalizing, panicking, destroying things and even through uncontrolled urinating and defecating. Cathy M. Rosenthal, courant.com, "Pet World: Helping Dogs And Cats Survive The Fourth Of July," 22 June 2018 Hip-hop stars like Nas, Fat Joe, and Cardi B have also vocalized their disgust. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Nicki Minaj Reacts to Family Separations at Border: I 'Was an Illegal Immigrant at 5 Years Old'," 21 June 2018 The wolverine can be heard vocalizing as the two scuffle. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "Watch a wolf and a wolverine fight over food in Denali National Park," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vocalize.' 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 vocalize

1669, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for vocalize

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vocalize

The first known use of vocalize was in 1669

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More Definitions for vocalize



English Language Learners Definition of vocalize

: to express (something) by speaking words

: to make a sound with the voice

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More from Merriam-Webster on vocalize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vocalize

Spanish Central: Translation of vocalize

Nglish: Translation of vocalize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vocalize for Arabic Speakers

Comments on vocalize

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


a complex dispute or argument

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