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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English vois, from Anglo-Norman voiz, voys, voice, Old French vois, voiz (Modern French voix), from Latin vōcem, accusative form of Latin vōx (voice), from Proto-Indo-European *wek-, *wekʷ-, *wokʷ- (to utter, speak). Cognate with Sanskrit वच् (vac, to say, speak), German erwähnen (to mention). Displaced native Middle English steven (voice), from Old English stefn (see steven), Middle English rouste (voice) from Old Norse raust, and Middle English rearde (voice) from Old English reord. Compare advocate, advowson, avouch, convoke, epic, vocal, vouch, vowel.



voice (plural voices)

  1. Sound uttered by the mouth, especially by human beings in speech or song; sound thus uttered considered as possessing some special quality or character; as,
    The human voice is the oldest musical instrument in history.
    She has a pleasant voice.
    His low voice allowed hum to become a bass in th choir.
    • 2011 April 10, Alistair Magowan, “Aston Villa 1 - 0 Newcastle”, BBC Sport:
      Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner had backed manager Houllier during the week and asked for the fans to get behind their team as they looked to steer themselves away from the relegation zone.
      To that end, the home supporters were in good voice to begin with, but it was Newcastle who started the game in the ascendancy, with Barton putting a diving header over the top from Jose Enrique's cross.
    • He with a manly voice saith his message. — Geoffrey Chaucer
    • Her voice was ever soft, Gentle, and low; an excellent thing in woman. — Shakespeare, King Lear, V-iii
    • Thy voice is music. — Shakespeare, Henry V, V-ii
    • Join thy voice unto the angel choir. — John Milton
  2. (phonetics) Sound of the kind or quality heard in speech or song in the consonants b, v, d, etc., and in the vowels; sonant, or intonated, utterance; tone; — distinguished from mere breath sound as heard in f, s, sh, etc., and also whisper.
  3. The tone or sound emitted by an object
    • After the fire a still small voice. — 1 Kings 19:12
    • Canst thou thunder with a voice like him? — Job 40:9
    • The floods have lifted up their voice. — Psalms 93:3
    • O Marcus, I am warm’d; my heart Leaps at the trumpet’s voice. — Joseph Addison
  4. The faculty or power of utterance
    to cultivate the voice
  5. Language; words; speech; expression; signification of feeling or opinion
    • I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. — Galatians 4:20
    • My voice is in my sword. — Shakespeare, Macbeth, V-vii
    • Let us call on God in the voice of his church. — Bp. Fell
  6. Opinion or choice expressed; judgment
    • Sicinius. How now, my masters! have you chose this man? / 1st Citizen. He has our voices, sir. — Shakespeare, Coriolanus, II-iii
    • Some laws ordain, and some attend the choice / Of holy senates, and elect by voice. — John Dryden
  7. (archaic) command; precept
    • So shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God. — Deuteronomy 8:20
  8. One who speaks; a speaker.
  9. (grammar) A particular way of inflecting or conjugating verbs, or a particular form of a verb, by means of which is indicated the relation of the subject of the verb to the action which the verb expresses.
  10. (music) In harmony, an independent vocal or instrumental part in a piece of composition.
    • The theme of this piece constantly migrates between the three voice parts.
  11. (Internet, IRC) A flag associated with a user on a channel, determining whether or not they can send messages to the channel.


Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


voice (third-person singular simple present voices, present participle voicing, simple past and past participle voiced)

  1. (transitive) To give utterance or expression to; to utter; to publish; to announce; to divulge; as, to voice the sentiments of the nation.
    • Rather assume thy right in silence and . . . then voice it with claims and challenges. — Francis Bacon
    • It was voiced that the king purposed to put to death Edward Plantagenet. — Francis Bacon
  2. (transitive, phonology) To utter with sonant or vocal tone; to pronounce with a narrowed glottis and rapid vibrations of the vocal cords; to speak above a whisper.
  3. (transitive) To fit for producing the proper sounds; to regulate the tone of; as, to voice the pipes of an organ.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To vote; to elect; to appoint
  5. (intransitive, obsolete) To clamor; to cry out, to steven
  6. (transitive, Internet) To assign the voice flag to a user on IRC, permitting them to send messages to the channel.
  7. (television, film) To act as a voice actor to portray a character.
    • 2012 April 26, Tasha Robinson, “Film: Reviews: The Pirates! Band Of Misfits :”, The Onion AV Club:
      The openly ridiculous plot has The Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) scheming to win the Pirate Of The Year competition, even though he’s a terrible pirate, far outclassed by rivals voiced by Jeremy Piven and Salma Hayek.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Related terms[edit]