Definition of vocal in English:

vocal

adjective

  • 1Relating to the human voice.

    ‘non-linguistic vocal effects like laughs and sobs’
    • ‘An intriguing mix of vocal sounds fills the air.’
    • ‘Davis uses a combination of body language, posture, and vocal intonation to stunning effect.’
    • ‘Dunbar contends that humans evolved vocal grooming as a more efficient form of bonding.’
    • ‘He had been diagnosed as cortically blind and virtually the only vocal sound he was capable of making was a ‘clicking’ in his throat.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It does this by filtering out sounds by frequency - usually around the normal vocal range of human voices.’
    • ‘Obviously, there are a lot of vocal effects, guitar effects, interesting reverbs and the like.’
    • ‘Mechanical sounds constitute the most prominent elements of the species' displays, replacing vocal sounds for territorial advertisement.’
    • ‘These scores required singers with a beautifully produced, expressive sound and great vocal agility.’
    • ‘In effect, they undermine themselves by providing the vocal equivalent of a laugh track.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My number one right now is Rachelle Farell - she has an amazing voice and her vocal range is like a million miles long.’
    • ‘A less common subspecies generates vocal noises to signal intellectual superiority rather than just urbane sophistication.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Trained opera singers learn to use their voices by experimenting with the physical sensations specific vocal sounds make.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Each of the main cast characters has contributed to the in-game sound by lending their vocal talents to the project.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The condition, which affects 29,000 people in Britain, is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary twitches and vocal noises.’
    vocalized, voiced, spoken, said, uttered, expressed, articulated, oral, by mouth
    View synonyms
    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.’
      • ‘According to proponents of the technology, the variations of the human vocal tract ensure that each person's voice is spectographically individual.’
      • ‘Our vocal apparatus can produce a large diversity of sounds.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2(of music) consisting of or incorporating singing.

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

    ‘he was vocal in condemning the action’
    • ‘After reading it, I plan to become more vocal, rather than letting myself be persuaded or sucked in by the medical model of childbirth!’
    • ‘The game was played in front of a very vocal Brazilian delegation cheering loudly for Argentina.’
    • ‘When I was there years ago, I was very vocal and very opinionated.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘Indeed, in the stand, a number of the Carlow supporters were a little too vocal in condemning their county team.’
    • ‘She heads the country's Women's Federation as well as several charities and is a vocal human rights activist.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Our opinion leaders are often rather vocal, to put it mildly, and they disagree on almost everything.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Chretien has been rather vocal and somewhat cautious in his own comments about it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But such vocal opposition had unexpected effects - Ulrich saw his band's credibility nosedive, at least among the Web cognoscenti.’
    • ‘She is also very vocal with her opinions and this has sparked plenty of controversy.’
    • ‘Sam Rainsy was the most visible and vocal Human Rights advocate in Cambodia.’
    • ‘Noise from bullhorns, speeches and very vocal protesters reached right into our classroom.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Unfamiliar renderings and the absence of starry vocals allow the music to be really heard again.’
    • ‘The audience seemed drawn to the stripped down sound and raw vocals, and sang along.’
    • ‘Erlend also sang vocals on two Royksopp songs and released a solo album called Unrest which is pretty damn fine as well.’
    • ‘For me, in terms of making music, I like melodies and vocals and chords and things like that.’
    • ‘The ethnic mix of vocals and rhythms works a treat while each artist remains faithful to their original style.’
    • ‘Franz Ferdinand's bassist Bob Hardy is to take lead vocals for a song on the band's next album.’
    • ‘One of the prettiest things ever committed to tape, the song offers more whispery vocals and acoustic guitars.’
    • ‘A classic and one of the most poignant tracks on the album, boasting swinging melody lines and sweet vocals.’
    • ‘He writes their songs, sings their vocals, plays their instruments and produces their records.’
    • ‘He seemed to have something to prove, and this occasionally meant his guitar would drown out the vocals or prolong a tune.’
    • ‘The soundproofed room next door hosts a microphone where vocals and music can be recorded.’
    • ‘Terry is the large woman you may remember singing backing vocals with Culture Club.’
    • ‘So they played along to cassette backing tapes with keyboard melodies and some vocals.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You can also let Music Mixer strip out the vocals from music you already have.’
    • ‘It was while singing freestyle vocals in clubs that Haifa was spotted by a scout from Public Demand Records.’
    • ‘So we get music that's dense and intense with lots of soaring vocals and big piano chords.’
    1. 1.1 A musical performance involving singing.
      • ‘It is also one of the many examples on the album where a double tracked vocal is used.’
      • ‘Attempts at performing his own vocals on his records just never seemed to deliver.’
      • ‘The obvious mastery of the keyboard and soaring vocals soon give her command of stage and audience.’
      • ‘Dodo Nkishi, who debuts his vocals on this album, was in full force at the gig.’
      • ‘As far as Strength In Numbers was concerned everything was geared towards male vocals.’
      • ‘The Charlatans' frontman provided guest vocals on their epochal debut, but times have changed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Leave it to a singer on his first turn as a producer to push the vocals up in the mix.’
      • ‘Malik and Donnelly fail on both of these accounts, hamming up the production and the vocal, including a faux soulful emphasis.’
      • ‘The songs are often second-rate and the performances are dire, like his shockingly inept vocal on the title track.’
      • ‘But Wilson devoted just one track to the band and the other seven to vocals.’
      • ‘The vocals and production are spot on and this track has easily passed the test of time.’
      • ‘The pair soon wove their magic around Thom Yorke's haunting vocals and were promoted to the ranks of producers.’

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/