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voice Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the distinctive quality or pitch or condition of a person's speech
    • A shrill voice sounded behind us
  2. noun the sound made by the vibration of vocal folds modified by the resonance of the vocal tract
    vocalism; phonation; vocalization; vocalisation; vox.
    • a singer takes good care of his voice
    • the giraffe cannot make any vocalizations
  3. noun a sound suggestive of a vocal utterance
    • the noisy voice of the waterfall
    • the incessant voices of the artillery
  4. noun expressing in coherent verbal form
    • the articulation of my feelings
    • I gave voice to my feelings
  5. noun a means or agency by which something is expressed or communicated
    • the voice of the law
    • the Times is not the voice of New York
    • conservatism has many voices
  6. noun something suggestive of speech in being a medium of expression
    • the wee small voice of conscience
    • the voice of experience
    • he said his voices told him to do it
  7. noun (metonymy) a singer
    • he wanted to hear trained voices sing it
  8. noun an advocate who represents someone else's policy or purpose
    spokesperson; interpreter; representative.
    • the meeting was attended by spokespersons for all the major organs of government
  9. noun the ability to speak
    • he lost his voice
  10. noun (linguistics) the grammatical relation (active or passive) of the grammatical subject of a verb to the action that the verb denotes
  11. noun the melody carried by a particular voice or instrument in polyphonic music
    • he tried to sing the tenor part
  12. verb give voice to
    • He voiced his concern
  13. verb utter with vibrating vocal chords
    sound; vocalize; vocalise.

Voice noun
OE. vois, voys, OF. vois, voiz, F. voix, L. vox, vocis, akin to Gr. a word, a voice, Skr. vac to say, to speak, G. erwähnen to mention. Cf. Advocate, Advowson, Avouch, Convoke, Epic, Vocal, Vouch, Vowel.
  1. Sound uttered by the mouth, especially that uttered by human beings in speech or song; sound thus uttered considered as possessing some special quality or character; as, the human voice; a pleasant voice; a low voice.
    He with a manly voice saith his message. Chaucer.
    Her voice was ever soft, Gentle, and low; an excellent thing in woman. Shak.
    Thy voice is music. Shak.
    Join thy voice unto the angel choir. Milton.
  2. (Phon.) 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. ✍ Voice, in this sense, is produced by vibration of the so-called vocal cords in the larynx (see Illust. of Larynx) which act upon the air, not in the manner of the strings of a stringed instrument, but as a pair of membranous tongues, or reeds, which, being continually forced apart by the outgoing current of breath, and continually brought together again by their own elasticity and muscular tension, break the breath current into a series of puffs, or pulses, sufficiently rapid to cause the sensation of tone. The power, or loudness, of such a tone depends on the force of the separate pulses, and this is determined by the pressure of the expired air, together with the resistance on the part of the vocal cords which is continually overcome. Its pitch depends on the number of aërial pulses within a given time, that is, on the rapidity of their succession. See Guide to Pronunciation, §§ 5, 146, 155.
  3. The tone or sound emitted by anything.
    After the fire a still small voice. 1 Kings xix. 12.
    Canst thou thunder with a voice like him? Job xl. 9.
    The floods have lifted up their voice. Ps. xciii. 3.
    O Marcus, I am warm'd; my heart Leaps at the trumpet's voice. Addison.
  4. The faculty or power of utterance; as, 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. Gal. iv. 20.
    My voice is in my sword. Shak.
    Let us call on God in the voice of his church. Bp. Fell.
  6. Opinion or choice expressed; judgment; a vote.
    Sic. How now, my masters! have you chose this man? 1 Cit. He has our voices, sir. Shak.
    Some laws ordain, and some attend the choice Of holy senates, and elect by voice. Dryden.
  7. Command; precept; -- now chiefly used in scriptural language.
    So shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God. Deut. viii. 20.
  8. One who speaks; a speaker. "A potent voice of Parliament." Tennyson.
  9. (Gram.) A particular mode 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.
Voice transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Voiced ; present participle & verbal noun Voicing
  1. 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." Bacon.
    It was voiced that the king purposed to put to death Edward Plantagenet. Bacon.
  2. (Phon.) 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. To fit for producing the proper sounds; to regulate the tone of; as, to voice the pipes of an organ.
  4. To vote; to elect; to appoint. Obs. Shak.
Voice intransitive verb
  1. To clamor; to cry out. Obs. South.

Webster 1913