Definition of vocal adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈvəʊkl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈvoʊkl//
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  1. 1[only before noun] connected with the voice vocal music the vocal organs (= the tongue, lips, etc.) Synonymsspokenoral vocalThese words all describe producing language using the voice, rather than writing.spoken (of language) produced using the voice; said rather than written:an exam in spoken Englishoral [usually before noun] spoken rather than written:There will be a test of both oral and written French.spoken or oral?Both of these words can be used to refer to language skills and the communication of information:spoken/​oral French a spoken/​oral presentation. In these cases oral is slightly more technical than spoken. Oral but not spoken can also be used with words such as tradition, culture and legends to talk about the way in which people pass stories down from one generation to the next, and in legal contexts followed by words such as evidence and hearing. vocal [usually before noun] connected with the voice:vocal music the vocal organs (= the tongue, lips, etc.) Vocal is used to talk about the ability to produce sounds using the voice, and is often used in musical contexts when referring to singing.Patterns spoken/​oral French/​English/​Japanese, etc. spoken/​oral language skills Wordfinderbeat, harmony, melody, music, note, rhythm, sing, tempo, tone, vocal
  2. 2telling people your opinions or protesting about something loudly and with confidence He has been very vocal in his criticism of the government's policy. The protesters are a small but vocal minority.
  3. Word Originlate Middle English: from Latin vocalis, from vox, voc-. Current senses of the noun date from the 1920s.Extra examples a highly vocal opposition group criticized by a small but increasingly vocal minority women who are very vocal about men’s failings
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: vocal

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