vo·​cal·​ize | \ ˈvō-kə-ˌlīz How to pronounce vocalize (audio) \
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 How to pronounce vocalization (audio) \ noun
vocalizer \ ˈvō-​kə-​ˌlī-​zər How to pronounce vocalizer (audio) \ 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

Wolf isn't actually the first to vocalize this idea; none other than Trump himself has done so, too. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "The most provocative thing Michelle Wolf said," 30 Apr. 2018 Even during his struggle with brain cancer, McCain frequently vocalized his resistance to President Donald Trump's administration and many of his policies. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "John McCain Is Dead at 81," 26 Aug. 2018 Even though people haven't been able to vocalize their support for the singer, the post has already garnered more than 601,000 likes, including from fellow Hollywood star Reese Witherspoon. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Pink Slams "Disgusting" Trolls Who Attacked Her Son for Not Wearing a Diaper," 1 Apr. 2019 At one point, Langs spent time concentrating on a speech by Romeo that was simultaneously signed by Castille and vocalized by Amy Thone, who also plays Juliet’s nurse. Misha Berson, The Seattle Times, "Here’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ like you’ve never seen it, with the star-crossed lovers bridging the gap between American Sign Language and English," 20 Feb. 2019 Corker now-famously announced his retirement after vocalizing his deep concern about the direction Trump was taking the Republican party. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Democrats’ new bet: boring can win," 25 Oct. 2018 Jamilah's statement echoed many of the same concerns black people have vocalized for years in relation to mixed-race children. Amira Rasool, Teen Vogue, "Khloe Kardashian's Daughter True Thompson Is Already Enduring Colorism as an Infant," 19 Sep. 2018 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

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

12 May 2019

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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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