vocable
Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈvəʊkəbl̩/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈvoʊkəbl̩/
Noun

vocable (plural vocables)

  1. (linguistics) A word or utterance, especially with reference to its form rather than its meaning.
    • 1974, Anthony Burgess, The Clockwork Testament:
      Without words and almost with the seriousness of asylum nurses they at once set upon an unsavoury-looking matron who began to cry out Mediterranean vocables of distress.
    • 1925, John Buchan, "The House of the Four Winds":
      At first the man puzzled; then he smiled. He pronounced a string of uncouth vocables.
  2. (music) A syllable or sound without specific meaning, used together with or in place of actual words in a song.
    • Encyclopaedia Brittanica, Native American Music;
      Many Native American songs employ vocables, syllables that do not have referential meaning. These may be used to frame words or may be inserted among them; in some cases, they constitute the entire song text.
Translations Adjective

vocable (not comparable)

  1. (linguistics) Able to be uttered.
    a vocable marker, a vocable thing
Synonyms Related terms


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