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definition of the word voice

by the Wiktionnary

Old English vois, voys, Old French vois, voiz, French voix, Latin vox, vocis, akin to Sanskrit वच् (to say, to speak) and German erwähnen (to mention). Compare advocate, advowson, avouch, convoke, epic, vocal, vouch, vowel.



voice (plural voices)

  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. — Shakespeare, King Lear, V-iii
    • Thy voice is music. — Shakespeare, Henry V, V-ii
    • Join thy voice unto the angel choir. — 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.
    Note: Voice, in this sense, is produced by vibration of the vocal cords in the 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.
  3. The tone or sound emitted by anything
    • 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. — 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. — 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; a vote.
    • 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. — 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. — Deuteronomy 8:20
  8. One who speaks; a speaker.
    • A potent voice of Parliament. — Tennyson
  9. (grammar) 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.

Definition from Wiktionary
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