: the voice of an unseen narrator speaking (as in a motion picture or television commercial)
: the voice of a visible character (as in a motion picture) expressing unspoken thoughts
: a recording of a voice-over

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Over the years, the actress has become a beloved voice-over staple, narrating the Gossip Girl series and making her Disney princess debut as the Frozen franchise's Anna (2013–2019). Sophie Dodd, Peoplemag, 31 Mar. 2023 These shows could borrow techniques from film, documentary and reality TV — cutaways, confessional interviews, voice-over — to access jokes unavailable in the old studio-audience setup. Niela Orr, New York Times, 29 Mar. 2023 Throughout the documentary, the actor Steven Yeun provides voice-over, reading some of Paik’s more personal writings. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 29 Mar. 2023 Throughout the show, actors make their entrances and exits with robotic movements, eyes straight ahead, while stark red and blue lighting (by Cat Davis) and ominously cheerful voice-overs promoting the certification program (sound design by Jake Sorgen) reinforce an ever-present Big Brother. Emily Mcclanathan, Chicago Tribune, 28 Mar. 2023 But Zhang ingeniously paces each sequence with hip-hop voice-over interludes — unexpected for a period movie yet apparently more expressive of populist tension than the untranslated Spanish that excluded part of the audience in Spielberg’s West Side Story. Armond White, National Review, 22 Mar. 2023 Speechify launched a new product line on Tuesday that will create AI voice-overs. Wendy Leestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 28 Feb. 2023 In addition to crying, BookTokeurs post videos of themselves gleefully unboxing book purchases, offering three-minute literary critiques, and using voice-overs and the latest pop songs to narrate their thoughts on recent reads. Colette Davidson, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Feb. 2023 Other winners during night three included Palmer for best character voice-over performance in a film for her role as Izzy Hawthorne in Lightyear, while Kyla Pratt took home the TV equivalent for her voice role of Penny Proud in The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder. Kimberly Nordyke, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'voice-over.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1947, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of voice-over was circa 1947

Dictionary Entries Near voice-over

Cite this Entry

“Voice-over.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/voice-over. Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: the voice in a film or television program of a person who is heard but not seen or not seen actually talking
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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