Definition of vocal in English:

vocal

adjective

  • 1Relating to the human voice.

    ‘non-linguistic vocal effects like laughs and sobs’
    • ‘Since I have become a little hard of hearing, my threshold for clearly hearing vocal speech is a little different from that of most people.’
    • ‘A less common subspecies generates vocal noises to signal intellectual superiority rather than just urbane sophistication.’
    • ‘Dunbar contends that humans evolved vocal grooming as a more efficient form of bonding.’
    • ‘The body language, the particular vocal tone of his voice, the mischievous glint in his eye, all the ways in which he related to myself and others, were absent.’
    • ‘It does this by filtering out sounds by frequency - usually around the normal vocal range of human voices.’
    • ‘He had been diagnosed as cortically blind and virtually the only vocal sound he was capable of making was a ‘clicking’ in his throat.’
    • ‘In effect, they undermine themselves by providing the vocal equivalent of a laugh track.’
    • ‘An intriguing mix of vocal sounds fills the air.’
    • ‘Trained opera singers learn to use their voices by experimenting with the physical sensations specific vocal sounds make.’
    • ‘These songs plumb the depths of vocal technique and of human emotion, and Martel demonstrated a command of her instrument which one is hard put to compare with any other singer of her calibre.’
    • ‘There is still no evidence of the passage of time having caught up with Burke's voice, for his vocal range has not diminished in any way.’
    • ‘Throughout the track the production is much more reserved than the rest of the album: the use of strings is subtle and vocal effects are minimal.’
    • ‘My number one right now is Rachelle Farell - she has an amazing voice and her vocal range is like a million miles long.’
    • ‘Mechanical sounds constitute the most prominent elements of the species' displays, replacing vocal sounds for territorial advertisement.’
    • ‘Each of the main cast characters has contributed to the in-game sound by lending their vocal talents to the project.’
    • ‘These scores required singers with a beautifully produced, expressive sound and great vocal agility.’
    • ‘Davis uses a combination of body language, posture, and vocal intonation to stunning effect.’
    • ‘The condition, which affects 29,000 people in Britain, is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary twitches and vocal noises.’
    • ‘Obviously, there are a lot of vocal effects, guitar effects, interesting reverbs and the like.’
    vocalized, voiced, spoken, said, uttered, expressed, articulated, oral, by mouth
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    1. 1.1Anatomy Used in the production of speech sounds.
      ‘the vocal apparatus’
      • ‘There may also be evolutionary specializations of the motor system, for example to allow stronger voluntary control of the vocal apparatus.’
      • ‘Finally, tension in the shoulders, neck and upper back often make people over-work their vocal muscles.’
      • ‘In the 1950s, scientists succeeded in making a model of the acoustics of human vocal tracts and resonant frequencies.’
      • ‘Our vocal apparatus can produce a large diversity of sounds.’
      • ‘According to proponents of the technology, the variations of the human vocal tract ensure that each person's voice is spectographically individual.’
  • 2(of music) consisting of or incorporating singing.

    ‘a four-part vocal composition’
    ‘a vocal bass line’
    • ‘The choir, which has 40 members, specialises in contemporary works and also in older vocal music.’
    • ‘It is about as drop-dead beautiful as vocal music gets, enveloped in luminous orchestration.’
    • ‘Their style is melodic driving rock, with textured guitars and strong vocal harmony lines.’
    • ‘With quite the most eccentric vocal performance of this, or indeed of any other Eurovision, this could either sweep the board or flop completely.’
    • ‘I Got Rhythm is a lively and entertaining production with an array of costume changes, live vocal performances and technically demanding dance.’
    • ‘It's her best vocal performance on the CD and the backing song does just that… backs her up.’
    • ‘Best known for his operas, vocal and incidental music, Hahn penned Le Rossignol éperdu as a cycle of 53 piano pieces.’
    • ‘When Barber began work on the score of Vanessa in 1954, he was already regarded as one of the US's foremost composers of orchestral and vocal music.’
    • ‘He never studied abroad and never composed any vocal music.’
    • ‘Once a vocal track sounds great, it's time to get it in to the computer.’
    • ‘Much of traditional Korean vocal and instrumental music employs a metrical rhythmic system based on a series of accompanying patterns known as jangdan.’
    • ‘The combination of irresistibly muscular riffage and spectacular vocal melodies sounds even better live than on record, especially given a sensationally tight and clear sound mix.’
    • ‘This was undoubtedly the best VIDEO of this year's entries, but it's not the best vocal performance.’
    • ‘Most classical stations don't want vocal music during the day because if it's on in the workplace, it's distracting.’
    • ‘These two Sligo ladies are both classically trained pianists, but their superb voices, and outstanding vocal arrangements are even more impressive.’
    • ‘They played different kinds of music, some vocal, others more instrumental, and all had their own loyal groups of followers and supporters.’
    • ‘The guitar tone is spot on for Pat's sound and the vocal track moves with the guitar in synchronized harmony.’
    • ‘He trained in the cello and vocal music but also plays guitar, clarinet and saxophone.’
  • 3Expressing opinions or feelings freely or loudly.

    ‘he was vocal in condemning the action’
    • ‘Noise from bullhorns, speeches and very vocal protesters reached right into our classroom.’
    • ‘But in more rural areas where there is a less diverse mix of people, those afraid of difference become vocal and treat fellow humans badly.’
    • ‘She is also very vocal with her opinions and this has sparked plenty of controversy.’
    • ‘While a vocal segment of public opinion expressed fear of becoming too closely aligned with the United States, the onset of the Cold War dictated otherwise.’
    • ‘Our opinion leaders are often rather vocal, to put it mildly, and they disagree on almost everything.’
    • ‘The game was played in front of a very vocal Brazilian delegation cheering loudly for Argentina.’
    • ‘But such vocal opposition had unexpected effects - Ulrich saw his band's credibility nosedive, at least among the Web cognoscenti.’
    • ‘Professor Fraser said that he believed that ‘Council and just perhaps the Vice Chancellor did not realise the depth of opinion and how vocal it could be’.’
    • ‘When I was there years ago, I was very vocal and very opinionated.’
    • ‘Chretien has been rather vocal and somewhat cautious in his own comments about it.’
    • ‘After reading it, I plan to become more vocal, rather than letting myself be persuaded or sucked in by the medical model of childbirth!’
    • ‘It's good to see the St. Vincent de Paul Society becoming more vocal and putting its opinions and vast experience on record in the media.’
    • ‘Sam Rainsy was the most visible and vocal Human Rights advocate in Cambodia.’
    • ‘At the conclusion of his set, he gave a sincere thank-you to the audience and was met with a rather vocal call for an encore.’
    • ‘Well, the United States government has been a very vocal critic of the human rights situation in the country, but it's not just the United States government.’
    • ‘She heads the country's Women's Federation as well as several charities and is a vocal human rights activist.’
    • ‘In the US, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and black newspaper editors waged vocal campaigns against this.’
    • ‘We should all take heart from the decision; it shows that a compelling case allied to a vocal campaign will eventually persuade road ministers to loosen the purse strings.’
    • ‘Indeed, in the stand, a number of the Carlow supporters were a little too vocal in condemning their county team.’
    • ‘You're correct that the populist view is not necessarily the right view, but those with centre-left leaning are more generally more vocal in their opinions.’
    vociferous, outspoken, forthright, plain-spoken, blunt, frank, direct, candid, open, uninhibited
    View synonyms

noun

often vocals
  • 1A part of a piece of music that is sung.

    ‘a clear guitar backing topped with haunting vocals’
    ‘I was singing along with the vocal’
    • ‘The soundproofed room next door hosts a microphone where vocals and music can be recorded.’
    • ‘For me, in terms of making music, I like melodies and vocals and chords and things like that.’
    • ‘Sekouba's lead vocal soars along new melodies of his own invention and in his own language.’
    • ‘It was the only tune with vocals in the entire program and everyone in the house sang along.’
    • ‘Erlend also sang vocals on two Royksopp songs and released a solo album called Unrest which is pretty damn fine as well.’
    • ‘Terry is the large woman you may remember singing backing vocals with Culture Club.’
    • ‘It was while singing freestyle vocals in clubs that Haifa was spotted by a scout from Public Demand Records.’
    • ‘The ethnic mix of vocals and rhythms works a treat while each artist remains faithful to their original style.’
    • ‘One of the prettiest things ever committed to tape, the song offers more whispery vocals and acoustic guitars.’
    • ‘He writes their songs, sings their vocals, plays their instruments and produces their records.’
    • ‘A classic and one of the most poignant tracks on the album, boasting swinging melody lines and sweet vocals.’
    • ‘Unfamiliar renderings and the absence of starry vocals allow the music to be really heard again.’
    • ‘He seemed to have something to prove, and this occasionally meant his guitar would drown out the vocals or prolong a tune.’
    • ‘Franz Ferdinand's bassist Bob Hardy is to take lead vocals for a song on the band's next album.’
    • ‘Clear, bright guitar melodies and cute, harmonised vocals serve each song well.’
    • ‘It only got interesting during the final song when the drummer took over vocals and sang his heart out.’
    • ‘The audience seemed drawn to the stripped down sound and raw vocals, and sang along.’
    • ‘So they played along to cassette backing tapes with keyboard melodies and some vocals.’
    • ‘So we get music that's dense and intense with lots of soaring vocals and big piano chords.’
    • ‘You can also let Music Mixer strip out the vocals from music you already have.’
    1. 1.1 A musical performance involving singing.
      • ‘The songs are often second-rate and the performances are dire, like his shockingly inept vocal on the title track.’
      • ‘Dodo Nkishi, who debuts his vocals on this album, was in full force at the gig.’
      • ‘Attempts at performing his own vocals on his records just never seemed to deliver.’
      • ‘Malik and Donnelly fail on both of these accounts, hamming up the production and the vocal, including a faux soulful emphasis.’
      • ‘A spin on the foot-to-the-floor musical approach is provided by the soulful vocal of Lisa Kekaula - perhaps this is what sets this band apart from the average recyclers of pop history.’
      • ‘Gahan's voice sounds very clean and warm as opposed to the bravura that occupies much of his vocals and performance.’
      • ‘The audience probably weren't listening anyway, so effectively did the staging distract from Jonathan Summers' thoughtful, amplified vocal.’
      • ‘The pair soon wove their magic around Thom Yorke's haunting vocals and were promoted to the ranks of producers.’
      • ‘The vocals and production are spot on and this track has easily passed the test of time.’
      • ‘The Charlatans' frontman provided guest vocals on their epochal debut, but times have changed.’
      • ‘But Wilson devoted just one track to the band and the other seven to vocals.’
      • ‘It is also one of the many examples on the album where a double tracked vocal is used.’
      • ‘Leave it to a singer on his first turn as a producer to push the vocals up in the mix.’
      • ‘The obvious mastery of the keyboard and soaring vocals soon give her command of stage and audience.’
      • ‘As far as Strength In Numbers was concerned everything was geared towards male vocals.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin vocalis, from vox, voc- (see voice). Current senses of the noun date from the 1920s.

Pronunciation

vocal

/ˈvəʊk(ə)l/