Definition of voiceless in US English:



  • 1Mute; speechless.

    ‘how could he have remained voiceless in the face of her cruelty?’
    • ‘He was born disabled and voiceless with a gaze permanently haunted by a look of terror.’
    • ‘An operation for goitre has left her voiceless.’
    • ‘Hardly any other Arab or Muslim characters appear, with the exception of extras playing voiceless villagers or servants.’
    1. 1.1 Not expressed.
      ‘the air was charged with voiceless currents of thought’
      • ‘Without asking, I understood the call she meant, the voiceless pull that kept drawing me to the water unafraid despite my father's fears.’
      unstated, unexpressed, unuttered, unsaid, unmentioned, unvoiced, unarticulated, undeclared, unavowed, not spelt out, mute, silent, wordless
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    2. 1.2 (of a person or group) lacking the power or right to express an opinion or exert control over affairs.
      • ‘But on the other hand, I had witnessed so many voiceless women that I wanted to play the roles, I wanted to portray them.’
      • ‘They're voiceless, they're powerless and that's why they need advocates.’
      • ‘The voiceless women of Jordan seem so distant from the Athenian women, who, two and a half millennia ago, organized to use what voice they had.’
      • ‘Part of the healing was giving voice to the voiceless prisoner in the greater community as she brought poets into San Quentin and published poems of her students for the world outside to hear.’
      • ‘Anyway for the sake of our cause and to get the voice of our voiceless women heard around the world, we have to cope with danger.’
      • ‘I feel helpless and in despair when I think of my whole family and the 100,000 voiceless residents who have been living around the sugar factories of Ethiopia.’
      • ‘They seek the total control of every person in mind and soul; a harsh society in which women are voiceless and brutalized.’
      • ‘That's why our legislators need to put rights on the statute books which will protect our voiceless citizens should the economy dip.’
      • ‘Read the book to learn of the other angle, the humiliations voiceless workers put up with on the job.’
      • ‘The film bears witness for the voiceless victims of the 20th century's forgotten genocide.’
      • ‘There is a serious question about whether they are able to give voice to some of the most voiceless people in our society while being funded so heavily by the government.’
      • ‘So that same sense that these women were voiceless and unacknowledged drew me to that.’
      • ‘What about our ethical role in protecting these otherwise voiceless people?’
      • ‘I suspect this to be the view of the majority: the voiceless people of the third world who experience on a daily basis the meaningless attrition of AIDS, war, famine, or infectious diseases.’
      • ‘He said, no longer should they be voiceless, since they too were purveyors of wisdom.’
      • ‘That was unexpected, there was so much support out there for me, but actually it was not for me personally, just the disenfranchised voiceless people out there who truly have concern for the world.’
      • ‘In the end it is the voiceless children who suffer.’
      • ‘I wanted to understand the cause behind this hatred, especially when it is directed towards voiceless women and children.’
      • ‘This is the most massive financial scandal in UN history, the most disgusting, and the most damaging to vulnerable, voiceless people.’
      • ‘Some women crossed their faces with their fists to depict voiceless women as a list of demands were read.’
    3. 1.3Phonetics (of a speech sound) uttered without resonance of the vocal cords, e.g., f as opposed to v, p as opposed to b, and s as opposed to z.
      • ‘More generally, voiceless obstruents are more frequent in onset position than voiced obstruents.’
      • ‘Neither Mandarin Chinese nor Tibetan distinguishes phonologically between voiced and voiceless obstruent initials, unlike Dzongkha and, for example, English.’
      • ‘In English, /h/ is like a voiceless vowel in that there is no fricative-like narrowing in the mouth, so that the greatest point of narrowing is in the glottis.’
      • ‘Several other sounds originate in the back of the throat, often as a voiceless click rather than a voiced fricative.’
      • ‘Voiced sounds such as vowels and certain consonants such as b, d, and g require vibration of the vocal folds, while voiceless sounds such as the consonants p, t, and k require the vocal folds to be wide apart.’