1. the sound or sounds uttered through the mouth of living creatures, especially of human beings in speaking, shouting, singing, etc.
  2. the faculty or power of uttering sounds through the mouth by the controlled expulsion of air; speech: to lose one’s voice.
  3. a range of such sounds distinctive to one person, or to a type of person or animal: Her voice is commanding.
  4. the condition or effectiveness of the voice for speaking or singing: to be in poor voice.
  5. a sound likened to or resembling vocal utterance: the voice of the wind.
  6. something likened to speech as conveying impressions to the mind: the voice of nature.
  7. expression in spoken or written words, or by other means: to give voice to one’s disapproval by a letter.
  8. the right to present and receive consideration of one’s desires or opinions: We were given no voice in the election.
  9. an expressed opinion or choice: a voice for compromise.
  10. an expressed will or desire: the voice of the people.
  11. expressed wish or injunction: obedient to the voice of God.
  12. the person or other agency through which something is expressed or revealed: a warning that proved to be the voice of prophecy.
  13. a singer: one of our best voices.
  14. a voice part: a score for piano and voice.
  15. Phonetics. the audible result of phonation and resonance.
  16. Grammar.
    1. a set of categories for which the verb is inflected in some languages, as Latin, and which is typically used to indicate the relation of the verbal action to the subject as performer, undergoer, or beneficiary of its action.
    2. a set of syntactic devices in some languages, as English, that is similar to this set in function.
    3. any of the categories of these sets: the English passive voice; the Greek middle voice.
  17. the finer regulation, as of intensity and color, in tuning, especially of a piano or organ.

verb (used with object), voiced, voic·ing.

  1. to give utterance or expression to; declare; proclaim: to voice one’s discontent.
  2. Music.
    1. to regulate the tone of, as the pipes of an organ.
    2. to write the voice parts for (music).
  3. to utter with the voice.
  4. Phonetics. to pronounce with glottal vibration.
  5. to interpret from sign language into spoken language.


  1. Computers. of or relating to the use of human or synthesized speech: voice-data entry; voice output.
  2. Telecommunications. of or relating to the transmission of speech or data over media designed for the transmission of speech: voice-grade channel; voice-data network.
  1. the still, small voice, the conscience: He was only occasionally troubled by the still, small voice.
  2. with one voice, in accord; unanimously: They arose and with one voice acclaimed the new president.


  1. the sound made by the vibration of the vocal cords, esp when modified by the resonant effect of the tongue and mouthSee also speech Related adjective: vocal
  2. the natural and distinctive tone of the speech sounds characteristic of a particular personnobody could mistake his voice
  3. the condition, quality, effectiveness, or tone of such soundsa hysterical voice
  4. the musical sound of a singing voice, with respect to its quality or toneshe has a lovely voice
  5. the ability to speak, sing, etche has lost his voice
  6. a sound resembling or suggestive of vocal utterancethe voice of the sea; the voice of hard experience
  7. written or spoken expression, as of feeling, opinion, etc (esp in the phrase give voice to)
  8. a stated choice, wish, or opinion or the power or right to have an opinion heard and consideredto give someone a voice in a decision
  9. an agency through which is communicated another’s purpose, policy, etcsuch groups are the voice of our enemies
  10. music
    1. musical notes produced by vibrations of the vocal cords at various frequencies and in certain registersa tenor voice
    2. (in harmony) an independent melodic line or parta fugue in five voices
  11. phonetics the sound characterizing the articulation of several speech sounds, including all vowels or sonants, that is produced when the vocal cords make loose contact with each other and are set in vibration by the breath as it forces its way through the glottis
  12. grammar a category of the verb or verbal inflections that expresses whether the relation between the subject and the verb is that of agent and action, action and recipient, or some other relationSee active (def. 5), passive (def. 5), middle (def. 5)
  13. obsolete rumour
  14. (foll by of) obsolete fame; renown
  15. in voice in a condition to sing or speak well
  16. out of voice with the voice temporarily in a poor condition, esp for singing
  17. with one voice unanimously

verb (tr)

  1. to utter in words; give expression toto voice a complaint
  2. to articulate (a speech sound) with voice
  3. music to adjust (a wind instrument or organ pipe) so that it conforms to the correct standards of tone colour, pitch, etc
  4. to provide the voice for (a puppet or cartoon character) in an animated film

“to express” (a feeling, opinion, etc.), c.1600, from voice (n.). Related: Voiced; voicing.


late 13c., “sound made by the human mouth,” from Old French voiz, from Latin vocem (nominative vox) “voice, sound, utterance, cry, call, speech, sentence, language, word,” related to vocare “to call,” from PIE root *wekw- “give vocal utterance, speak” (cf. Sanskrit vakti “speaks, says,” vacas- “word;” Avestan vac- “speak, say;” Greek eipon (aorist) “spoke, said,” epos “word;” Old Prussian wackis “cry;” German er-wähnen “to mention”).

Replaced Old English stefn. Meaning “ability in a singer” is first attested c.1600. Meaning “expression of feeling, etc.” (in reference to groups of people, etc., e.g. Voice of America) is recorded from late 14c.


  1. The sound made by air passing out through the larynx and upper respiratory tract and produced by the vibration of the vocal organs.

see at the top of one’s lungs (voice); give voice to; have a say (voice) in; raise one’s voice; still small voice; with one voice.

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