: 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

Examples of voice-over in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Friedman’s voice-over reminds us that inequality has been a topic of human concern for hundreds of years, courtesy of do-gooders who claim that the wealth of the rich rests on the exploitation of the poor. Kim Phillips-Fein, The Atlantic, 13 Nov. 2023 The performers recite passages from Woolf’s novel, and Preciado, in voice-over, comments on the book, on trans life, and on the connections between the two—in the form of a letter to Woolf. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 10 Nov. 2023 Co-Founder Mercè Delgado walked us through the tech which minimizes the time and costs associated with voice-over quality control processes. Callum McLennan, Variety, 28 Sep. 2023 Excerpts from the diary and letter are read in voice-over by actors. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 24 Oct. 2023 This mantra, repeated in voice-over throughout David Fincher’s new film, The Killer, is a meditative refrain for the film’s unnamed assassin protagonist (played by Michael Fassbender), a reminder to keep calm no matter how intense the circumstances. David Sims, The Atlantic, 24 Oct. 2023 Filled with jargon-y voice-overs, Atari-age special effects, and performances that range from unusually stilted to hilariously over-the-top (including a memorable turn from Sting as a punky villain with spiked hair), the big-budget affair often feels like an arthouse curio. Max Evry, Pitchfork, 13 Oct. 2023 Both films avoid the manipulative cliches of the genre — no fan interviews, no backstage melodrama, no voice-over explication, just a night of music where everybody is a star. Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, 13 Oct. 2023 Their remarks are interlaced with abundant interview clips of Wolfe and others — including journalistic fellow traveler and unlikely Wolfe pal Hunter S. Thompson — and excerpts from Wolfe’s writings, read somberly in voice-over by Jon Hamm. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 12 Oct. 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 28 Nov. 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
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