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 While this is the first time the Dance Moms alum has stepped out publicly with her famed music producer beau, she's been vocal about the positive aspects of their relationship. Kelly Wynne, PEOPLE.com, 2 Aug. 2022 Stallone has been vocal about his wish to overtake control over the franchise in the past. Justine Browning, EW.com, 31 July 2022 In recent weeks, one major U.S. county — Los Angeles — was vocal about a possible return of masking requirements following a steady increase in COVID-19 infections. Arielle Mitropoulos, ABC News, 29 July 2022 Lee has lashed himself tightly to Trump after being one of his most vocal critics in 2016. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 July 2022 After an initial burst of support, teachers were targeted as one of the pandemic culprits, with some vocal critics demanding that teachers get back to work regardless of threats to their health. Peter Greene, Forbes, 6 July 2022 Even some of his most vocal critics acknowledged that he could not be blamed for big problems that were largely outside his control, like escalating drug addiction and homelessness. New York Times, 13 June 2022 The 22-year-old Nigerian’s Twitter thread made her one of the most vocal critics of Fenty’s launch in Nigeria. Alexander Onukwue, Quartz, 3 June 2022 In the aftermath of the shooting, in which 10 people were killed, Democrats and some Republicans who are vocal critics of former President Donald Trump and his political movement called for other GOP lawmakers to condemn white supremacist rhetoric. Lindsay Wise, WSJ, 17 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Beyoncé imitates the practice with soulful vocal stacking at the beginning of the track before the song swiftly shifts to a twerk anthem, eliminating the binary of holy and secular. Deasia Paige, ELLE, 2 Aug. 2022 Damien Harris gets vocal during the third day of Patriots training camp on Friday. Jim Mcbride, BostonGlobe.com, 29 July 2022 Fifty years later, Scott still marvels at Bowie’s ability to lay down a final vocal in one take. Jem Aswad, Variety, 16 June 2022 Singer Lucy Schwartz delivers a joyful vocal while fittingly sporting a Hanson T-shirt. Jon O'brien, Billboard, 23 May 2022 But Tears for Fears continues to own its power with Smith delivering a surging and urgent vocal that took everyone’s breath away. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, 22 May 2022 Church vocal traditions, said Liuba Morozova, a music critic and the artistic director of the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra, helped in uniting Ukrainian composition under a national banner in the early 20th century. New York Times, 13 May 2022 Robin Roberts, the program will also feature performances by Emmylou Harris and Allison Russell, Little Big Town, and the gospel vocal group Gaithers. Jon Freeman, Rolling Stone, 13 May 2022 Hutchinson revealed that both Meadows and Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s outside counsel and one of the most vocal in claiming election fraud, had inquired about pardons for their roles in what happened Jan. 6. Dan Balz, Washington Post, 28 June 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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near vocal

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vocal chink

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Statistics for vocal

Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Vocal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vocal. Accessed 12 Aug. 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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