Definition of voice-over in English:



  • A piece of narration in a film or broadcast, not accompanied by an image of the speaker.

    ‘the budget is summarized in a voice-over at the end of the news’
    mass noun ‘the coordination of live voice-over, music, and slides’
    as modifier ‘voice-over dialogue’
    • ‘The intrigue is accompanied by a voice-over commentary, just in case you don't understand, and haphazard flashbacks to remind you of her traumatic childhood.’
    • ‘There is no dialogue, but a pompous voice-over narration explains everything that is going on, just in case we are too dim to figure it out.’
    • ‘On the actual broadcast, voice-overs and promos pretty much ruined the piece.’
    • ‘His dry voice-over narration also adds considerably to the film, helping us to accept this flimsy story.’
    • ‘The voice-over narration and flashbacks provide an autobiographical as well as retrospective cast to the film.’
    • ‘There is no dialogue, only voice-overs by all the characters.’
    • ‘You can see trends in the voice-overs, musical accompaniment, and editing style.’
    • ‘There is no voice-over narration, dialogue being restricted to whatever the various people have to say in the course of their activities.’
    • ‘Some of the extracts we saw were enhanced by live actors doing voice-overs, others had piano or dubbed on music.’
    • ‘The film's strength is in its intricate intertwining of story and image, of dialogue, voice-over and music.’
    • ‘A voice-over narrator ‘explains’ things, whereas we want to see and experience them.’
    • ‘The voice-over commentary covers his thoughts, a technique that can be dangerously indulgent.’
    • ‘Making up for the minor problem with the music is the voice-over work, which is phenomenal.’
    • ‘The film has a voice-over narrator who carefully explains the film's meaning, thus sparing us the trouble of employing a single brain cell.’
    • ‘His was also the last voice that millions of people would have heard in the event of a nuclear attack because he did the voice-over for a film to be broadcast after the three minute warning.’
    • ‘Songs just seem to get started, and then the music fades to be replaced by a voice-over from one of the interviewees.’
    • ‘There are several sequences in the film that abandon voice-overs and linger on the natural beauty of the landscape.’
    • ‘I wrote all of the voice-overs for the documentary.’
    • ‘The story, narrated by a voice-over, involves a husband and wife, who, after the first flowering of love's uncertain bloom, decide they are worth more to each other dead than alive.’
    voice-over, reading, commentary


[with object]
  • Narrate (spoken material) for a film or broadcast as a voice-over.

    ‘we had to voice-over some passages of dialogue’
    ‘the commercials are voice-overed’
    • ‘See all these famous people, then download mp3s of them voice-overing their little hearts out.’
    tell, relate, recount, give an account of, unfold, set forth, set out, describe, detail, sketch out, portray, chronicle, give a report of, report, relay, retail, delineate, rehearse, recite