Definition of vocable in English:



  • A word, especially with reference to form rather than meaning.

    • ‘How does the human being who says ‘That's green’ differ from the parrot trained to utter the same vocables in response to the presentation of a green card?’
    • ‘Lowell goes all out for the adjective, and it's hard to think of a writer with such provocative and interesting adjectives, or one who finds such depth in what is thought of as a shallow and inessential vocable.’
    • ‘The poem describes the toddler as ‘Yapping always,’ as producing the fluent vocables that gradually give birth to words, but still not enunciating the words themselves.’
    term, name, expression, designation, locution
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Late Middle English (denoting a name): from French, or from Latin vocabulum, from vocare ‘call’.