Definition of musical in US English:

musical

adjective

  • 1Relating to music.

    ‘they shared similar musical tastes’
    • ‘Now, far be it from me to judge a man's musical tastes; after all, what's beautiful music to one is nails on blackboard to another.’
    • ‘He, too, was totally aware of the emotional content of each song and cut his musical cloth accordingly while accompanying with true artistry.’
    • ‘As a child of the 60s and 70s I still hanker after the music of my youth but my children's musical tastes have turned me on to current great Australian bands.’
    • ‘I think there are certain items in a piano competition that are not matters of musical opinion or taste.’
    • ‘Heck, there are times when I have cringed at the musical tastes of musicians I admire.’
    • ‘And I suppose he deserves it, even if his musical style is a taste I am still trying to acquire.’
    • ‘The system finds people with musical tastes similar to yours, and starts playing music from their collection.’
    • ‘The way I find music is that I have a few friends whose musical tastes I trust.’
    • ‘A wonderfully eerie musical score accompanies the two youngsters as they pound miles of wet roads for hours on end, experiencing nothing but uncertainty at every turn.’
    • ‘As a theorist he was influential in the codification of sonata form and other musical structures.’
    • ‘The new view of the world was accompanied by new musical influences.’
    • ‘Broaden your children's musical tastes by exposing them to different kinds of music through recordings and live concerts.’
    • ‘Not only is her own music eclectic, so are her musical tastes.’
    1. 1.1 Set to or accompanied by music.
      ‘an evening of musical entertainment’
      • ‘The Indian musical accompaniment is so lively and catchy, you wonder if the whole story will shortly be made into a Bollywood spectacular.’
      • ‘The dazzlingly choreographed fireworks performances will be accompanied by a musical programme.’
      • ‘The tunes passed across the generations by memory are sung in unison without any musical accompaniment.’
      • ‘All of these involved musical accompaniment, with fiddles, harmonicas, and later accordions.’
      • ‘Then gradually the musical accompaniment and singing separated and it became an opera form.’
      • ‘These works, with their improvised musical accompaniment, breathed excitement into the local scene.’
      • ‘This year's Christmas lights switch-on promises to be a extravaganza with fairground rides, a street fair and musical entertainment.’
      • ‘Occasionally, eaters are treated with live musical accompaniment on the piano that sits in the room.’
      • ‘She can no longer play the piano to provide musical accompaniment to the choirs.’
      • ‘The selections run the gamut from folk song through musical theatre to grand opera.’
      • ‘It becomes frustratingly obvious as the record plays, however, that the musical accompaniment is designed to be just that.’
      • ‘Silent films are also shown, accompanied by live musical performances.’
      • ‘Contemporary dancers will perform with live musical accompaniment comprising natuvangam, mridangam, veena and nadaswaram.’
      • ‘The event is a spectacular combination of fireworks exploding in harmony with a musical accompaniment.’
      • ‘Excellent musical accompaniment and photography reveal the ideas and purposes that lay the foundations for Islamic art.’
      • ‘Groups must provide their own live musical accompaniment of not more than 4 musicians.’
      • ‘They take it in turns to be in the groups - usually six or eight at a time, and there are four or so able musical accompanists - not more than two playing at once.’
      • ‘The menu is Mediterranean fusion mixed with Jazz at lunchtime, then accompanied with a different musical theme each night.’
    2. 1.2 Fond of or skilled in music.
      ‘Henry was very musical, but his wife was tone-deaf’
  • 2Having a pleasant sound; melodious or tuneful.

    ‘they burst out into rich, musical laughter’
    • ‘When she spoke, her voice, usually so musical and beautiful, sounded as if she had a cold.’
    • ‘She wheezed ever so slightly, a small whistle that sounded almost musical.’
    • ‘The mood was contagious, and soon the two had filled the air with the soft sound of laughter, the musical laughter that Angel loved to hear.’
    • ‘That the sounds are musical to our ears may say more about us than about the elephants.’
    • ‘She called Snowbell and the horse came at the sound of her musical voice.’
    • ‘I don't know, but they use all these weird sounds in such a musical way.’
    • ‘He laughed and it sounded so musical I couldn't help but smile.’
    • ‘Its cry was musical, not sounding like one wolf, but a chorus of many.’
    • ‘He had a strange accent that sounded almost musical; I liked it.’
    • ‘Her voice was musical, like the sound of a silver bell, warm and welcoming.’
    • ‘The staccato beat of booted feet and armour jingling sounded almost musical.’
    • ‘The musical chittering of birds sounded throughout the air, and the delicate tune of the bubbling river was heard as it wound its way out of the forest and between the fresh green fields.’
    tuneful, melodic, melodious, harmonious, sweet-sounding, sweet, mellifluous, dulcet, lyrical, lilting, liquid, euphonious, euphonic
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noun

  • A play or movie in which singing and dancing play an essential part. Musicals developed from light opera in the early 20th century.

    • ‘My theory is that all directors who work on musicals import their values into classical theatre.’
    • ‘He has also designed extensively for theatre, opera, Broadway musicals, and film.’
    • ‘The best kung-fu movies are like musicals without music and this is no exception.’
    • ‘This was followed by one member of the group singing songs from classic musicals such as Grease and Miss Saigon.’
    • ‘First off, a word of warning: if you don't like musicals, this might not be your thing.’
    • ‘I think the main problem was the glut of musicals that had sprung up at the box office.’
    • ‘The test of these big, old-fashioned musicals is whether they bring a smile to your face and set your feet tapping.’
    • ‘Since then he has starred in over a dozen pantomimes and countless musicals.’
    • ‘It seems everyone is currently turning popular movies into stage musicals.’
    • ‘As a child she had sung in amateur musicals and taken dancing lessons.’
    • ‘Why do I bother with a lady who only appeared in seven musicals and made only nine records?’
    • ‘An organization that develops new musicals is producing a cabaret show of my songs that opens in a week and a half.’
    • ‘It was not like singing in musicals, where you arrive knowing the score and piece and more or less get up and sing.’
    • ‘The repertoire will not be too taxing and will vary from musicals, light opera and more formal pieces.’
    • ‘The show does not boast the extravagant production values of many West End musicals.’
    • ‘As in all the best musicals, the potential for calamity hangs precariously throughout the movie.’
    • ‘On the theatre stage or the silver screen, musicals hold a special place in many people's hearts.’
    • ‘This all brought me to asking whether she preferred musicals to plays.’
    • ‘I grew up with a passion for musicals, but it's been a long time since I've actually seen one.’
    • ‘Why not get kids studying the Victorians to learn songs from Oliver! or Gilbert and Sullivan musicals?’
    musical comedy
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French, from medieval Latin musicalis, from Latin musica (see music).

Pronunciation

musical

/ˈmyo͞ozək(ə)l//ˈmjuzək(ə)l/