vocal

Anything vocal is related to speaking or singing, like your math class's vocal objections to a pop quiz or the vocal warm-ups that a jazz singer does before a big performance.

The word vocal comes from the Latin vocalis ("sounding, sonorous, or speaking") and its root meaning of "voice." As a noun, it refers to a section of music that's sung, rather than played on an instrument: "The vocals in that song were beautiful, but the guitar was out of tune." There's also a figurative way to be vocal, by expressing your ideas passionately and freely: "She was vocal about her environmentalism."

Definitions of vocal
1

n music intended to be performed by one or more singers, usually with instrumental accompaniment

Synonyms:
vocal music
Type of:
music
an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner

n a short musical composition with words

Synonyms:
song
Types:
show 34 types...
hide 34 types...
religious song
religious music for singing
anthem
a song of devotion or loyalty (as to a nation or school)
aria
an elaborate song for solo voice
ballad, lay
a narrative song with a recurrent refrain
barcarole, barcarolle
a boating song sung by Venetian gondoliers
ditty
a short simple song (or the words of a poem intended to be sung)
coronach, dirge, lament, requiem, threnody
a song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person
drinking song
a song celebrating the joys of drinking; sung at drinking parties
folk ballad, folk song, folksong
a song that is traditionally sung by the common people of a region and forms part of their culture
lied
a German art song of the 19th century for voice and piano
love song, love-song
a song about love or expressing love for another person
berceuse, cradlesong, lullaby
a quiet song intended to lull a child to sleep
golden oldie, oldie
a song that was formerly popular
partsong
a song with two or more voice parts
prothalamion, prothalamium
a song in celebration of a marriage
roundelay
a song in which a line or phrase is repeated as the refrain
banquet song, scolion
a song (sometimes improvised) sung by guests at a banquet
serenade
a song characteristically played outside the house of a woman
torch song
a popular song concerned with disappointment in love
work song
a usually rhythmical song to accompany repetitious work
chant
a repetitive song in which as many syllables as necessary are assigned to a single tone
Negro spiritual, spiritual
a kind of religious song originated by Blacks in the southern United States
Christmas carol, carol
joyful religious song celebrating the birth of Christ
anthem, hymn
a song of praise (to God or to a saint or to a nation)
keen
a funeral lament sung with loud wailing
national anthem
a song formally adopted as the anthem for a nation
arietta, short aria
a short aria
minstrelsy
ballads sung by minstrels
chantey, chanty, sea chantey, shanty
a rhythmical work song originally sung by sailors
blues
a type of folksong that originated among Black Americans at the beginning of the 20th century; has a melancholy sound from repeated use of blue notes
fado
a sad Portuguese folksong
madrigal
an unaccompanied partsong for 2 or 3 voices; follows a strict poetic form
round, troll
a partsong in which voices follow each other; one voice starts and others join in one after another until all are singing different parts of the song at the same time
belling, callathump, callithump, charivari, chivaree, shivaree
a noisy mock serenade (made by banging pans and kettles) to a newly married couple
Type of:
composition, musical composition, opus, piece, piece of music
a musical work that has been created

adj having or using the power to produce speech or sound

vocal organs”
“all vocal beings hymned their praise”

adj full of the sound of voices

“a playground vocal with the shouts and laughter of children”
Synonyms:
loud
characterized by or producing sound of great volume or intensity

adj given to expressing yourself freely or insistently

“a vocal assembly”
Synonyms:
outspoken
communicative, communicatory
able or tending to communicate

adj relating to or designed for or using the singing voice

vocal technique”
“the vocal repertoire”
“organized a vocal group to sing his compositions”
Antonyms:
instrumental
relating to or designed for or performed on musical instruments

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.