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Alternative formsEdit


  • IPA(key): /vɔɪs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɔɪs

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English voice, voys, vois, borrowed from Anglo-Norman voiz, voys, voice, Old French vois, voiz (Modern French voix), from Latin vōcem, accusative form of vōx (voice), from Proto-Indo-European *wṓkʷs, root noun from *wekʷ- (to utter, speak). Cognate with Sanskrit वाच् (vāc), Ancient Greek ὄψ (óps), Persian آواز(âvâz). Displaced native Middle English steven (voice), from Old English stefn (see steven). Compare advocate, advowson, avouch, convoke, epic, vocal, vouch, vowel. Doublet of vox.


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
    The human voice is the oldest musical instrument in history.
    She has a pleasant voice.
    His low voice allowed him to become a bass in the choir.
  2. (phonetics) Sound made through vibration of the vocal cords; sonant, or intonated, utterance; tone; — distinguished from mere breath sound as heard in whispering and voiceless consonants.
  3. The tone or sound emitted by an object
  4. The faculty or power of utterance
    to cultivate the voice
  5. That which is communicated; message; meaning.
  6. An expressed opinion, choice, will, desire, or wish; the right or ability to make such expression or to have it considered
    • c. 1608–1609 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene iii]:
      Sicinius. How now, my masters! have you chose this man? / 1st Citizen. He has our voices, sir.
    • 1697, Virgil, “(please specify the book number)”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432:
      Some laws ordain, and some attend the choice / Of holy senates, and elect by voice.
    • 2019 March 24, Regan, Helen; Olarn, Kocha, “Thailand's youth demand change ahead of elections”, in CNN[2], retrieved 2019-03-24:
      Like many of the 7 million other first time voters, she came of age during half a decade of military rule that has governed the country since former general turned Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha seized power in a 2014 coup. "We have had our voice taken away for five years," she says.
  7. (archaic) Command; precept.
  8. One who speaks; a speaker.
    • 1850, [Alfred, Lord Tennyson], In Memoriam, London: Edward Moxon, [], OCLC 3968433, (please specify |part=prologue or epilogue, or |canto=I to CXXIX):
      a potent voice of Parliament.
    • 2016, Sonia Tascon, ‎Tyson Wils, Activist Film Festivals: Towards a Political Subject
      The inclusion of transgender voices further disrupts the homonormalization of sex and identity evident in popular LGBTQ cinema.
  9. (literature) A particular style or way of writing that expresses a certain tone or feeling.
  10. (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.
    The verbal system of Latin has two voices, active and passive.
    • 2012, Drew Arlen Mannetter, I Came, I Saw, I Translated, page 197:
      There are four tenses of the subjunctive (present, perfect, imperfect, and pluperfect) and three voices (active, passive, and deponent). [...] See 12.8 for the formation of the deponent voice.
  11. (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.
  12. (Internet, IRC) A flag associated with a user on a channel, determining whether or not they can send messages to the channel.
    • 1999 February 20, Cory McWilliams, “IRC oddities”, in alt.irc, Usenet[3], message-ID <7amrhu$17kg@enews2.newsguy.com>:
      True, better clients will remember that a person had a voice before they were opped and will return the + when they are deopped, but that doesn't solve the problem.
Derived termsEdit
Terms derived from voice (noun)
Grammatical terms derived from voice (noun)

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English voysen, voicen, from the noun (see above).


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
    He voiced the sentiments of the nation.
  2. (transitive, phonology) To utter audibly, with tone and not just breath.
  3. (transitive) To fit for producing the proper sounds; to regulate the tone of
    voice the pipes of an organ
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To vote; to elect; to appoint
  5. (intransitive, obsolete) To clamor; to cry out[1]
    • 1638, Francis Quarles, Divine Fancies: Digeſted Into Epigrammes, Meditations, and Obſervations[4], London: Iohn Marriot, page 67:
      If thou wilt give me Davids heart; Ile voyce, / Great God, with David; and make Davids choyce.
    • 1666, Robert South, A ſermon preached at Lambeth-Chappel on the 25th of November [] [5], London: William Nott:
      It is not the gift of every Perſon, nor of every Age, to harangue the multitude, to Voice it high and loud, & Dominari in Concionibus.
    • 1682, Thomas Southern, The Loyal Brother, Or The Perſian Prince[6], London: William Cademan, page 29:
      How wou'd they voice it o're and o're for Tachmas / To come, and blunt the edge of War agen!
    • 1868, Alfred Tennyson, “Lucretius”, in The Holy Grail and Other Poems, London: Strahan and Co., [], published 1870, OCLC 276857706, page 211:
      [L]ambs are glad / Nosing the mother's udder, and the bird / Makes his heart voice among the blaze of flowers: []
  6. (transitive, Internet, IRC) To assign the voice flag to a user on IRC, permitting them to send messages to the channel.
    • 2001 November 22, Thom Peppard, “assistance please”, in alt.irc, Usenet[7], message-ID <B8225C66.240B%thompeppard@tru.eastlink.ca>:
      I would like this script to allow me to notice not only the ops in a channel, but also those that have been voiced by the ops, at the same time.
    • 2004 August 1, Remco Rijnders, “moderating an IRC session”, in alt.irc, Usenet[8], message-ID <opsb1625xn32ljov@news.xs4all.nl>:
      If you then want others to be able to talk, you can voice them (+v) or if you want everyone able to talk, you can remove the moderation flag on the channel (-m).
  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 :”, in The Onion AV Club[9]:
      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.
Related termsEdit


  1. ^ James A. H. Murray [et al.], editors (1884–1928), “Voice, v.”, in A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford English Dictionary), volume X, Part 2 (V–Z), London: Clarendon Press, OCLC 15566697, page 283, column 3.

Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of voys