from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of, relating to, or capable of producing music.
  • adjective Characteristic of or resembling music; melodious.
  • adjective Set to or accompanied by music.
  • adjective Devoted to or skilled in music.
  • noun A play or movie that contains musical numbers.
  • noun A musical comedy.
  • noun Archaic A musicale.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of or pertaining to music, in any sense; of the nature of music: as, musical proportion.
  • Sounding agreeably; affecting the ear pleasurably; conformable to the laws of the science of music; conformable to the principles of the art of music; melodious; harmonious.
  • Pertaining to the performance or the notation of music.
  • Fond of music; discriminating with regard to music: as, the child is musical, or has a musical ear.
  • Amusing; ridiculous.
  • noun A meeting or a party for a musical entertainment: same as musicale.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete Music.
  • noun colloq. A social entertainment of which music is the leading feature; a musical party.
  • noun A drama in which music and song are prominent features; a musical drama or musical play.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to music; having the qualities of music; or the power of producing music; devoted to music; melodious; harmonious
  • adjective a box or case containing apparatus moved by clockwork so as to play certain tunes automatically. The apparatus may be driven by a wind-up spring mechanism or by batteries.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) any fish which utters sounds under water, as the drumfish, grunt, gizzard shad, etc.
  • adjective glass goblets or bowls so tuned and arranged that when struck, or rubbed, they produce musical notes. Cf. Harmonica, 1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of or relating to music.
  • adjective Gifted or skilled in music.
  • adjective Pleasing to the ear.
  • noun a stage performance, show or film which involves singing, dancing and musical numbers performed by the cast as well as acting.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective containing or constituting or characterized by pleasing melody
  • adjective characterized by or capable of producing music
  • adjective talented in or devoted to music
  • noun a play or film whose action and dialogue is interspersed with singing and dancing
  • adjective characteristic of or resembling or accompanied by music


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin musicalis, from Ancient Greek μουσικός (mousikos), from μουσική (mousiki, "music").


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  • Since the time of the Netherlandish contrapuntists, the primary impulse in musical creation has been the _musical_ ideal -- the creation of tonal fancies, novel, inspiring, musical, satisfactory.

    A Popular History of the Art of Music From the Earliest Times Until the Present 1874

  • No one has ever equalled him in quickness and depth of musical insight and feeling, nor in the constancy with which he bears within himself, in all its fulness, that mysterious power which can be called by no truer name than _musical inspiration_.

    Music and Some Highly Musical People James M. Trotter 1867

  • At the base of the musical experience seem to be (i) the experience of tones, as opposed to mere pitched sounds, where a tone is heard as being in ˜musical space™, that is, as bearing such relations to other tones as being higher or lower, or of the same kind (at the octave), and (ii) the experience of movement, as when we hear a melody as wandering far afield and then coming to rest where it began.

    The Philosophy of Music Kania, Andrew 2007

  • It's with considerable pain that I write that statement; for while I love music, and I love theater, I am acutely aware of the stigma of the term "musical theater," of all it has come to connote and the kneejerk reactions the genre tends to elicit.

    The Full Feed from Dave Malloy 2012

  • It's with considerable pain that I write that statement; for while I love music, and I love theater, I am acutely aware of the stigma of the term "musical theater," of ...

    The Full Feed from Dave Malloy 2012

  • After all, the logical progression from a Young Frankenstein musical is a Spaceballs musical, and we really don't think we could stomach that.

    Mel Brooks Creates Spaceballs: The Largely Unnecessary Cartoon 2006

  • That music is a product of civilisation is manifest; for though savages have their dance-chants, these are of a kind scarcely to be dignified by the title musical: at most, they supply but the vaguest rudiment of music, properly so called.

    Essays on Education and Kindred Subjects Everyman's Library Herbert Spencer 1861

  • While his first South Pacific rehearsals were polished, they lacked the expression musical theatre demands.

    The Guardian World News Damian Fowler 2011

  • The choreography Jones created for this musical is a whirlwind of ritual and nightclub dances, formed in West Africa but repeated throughout the world.

    2010 Kennedy Center Honors Watch: Bill T. Jones Jacqueline Trescott 2010

  • The climax of the musical is a whirling dance routine pitting a rugged Dr. Mahathir against the bookish Mr. Anwar, who is now Malaysia's top opposition leader.

    Malaysia's Strong-Arm Leader, in Song 2010


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