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[ka-strah-toh, kuh-; Italian kah-strah-taw] /kæˈstrɑ toʊ, kə-; Italian kɑˈstrɑ tɔ/
noun, plural castrati
[ka-strah-tee, kuh-; Italian kah-strah-tee] /kæˈstrɑ ti, kə-; Italian kɑˈstrɑ ti/ (Show IPA)
a male singer, especially in the 18th century, castrated before puberty to prevent his soprano or contralto voice range from changing.
Origin of castrato
1755-65; < Italian < Latin castrāt(us); see castrate Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for castrati
Historical Examples
  • This is the house of a great man, a chieftain; and we were told the name of the place is castrati.

    Albania E. F. Knight
  • However, just as the sun was setting we approached the hut of castrati.

    Albania E. F. Knight
  • Our good-byes at castrati before starting were affectionate and protracted.

    Albania E. F. Knight
  • We entered the large lower room, which in every respect was similar to that in which we passed the previous night at castrati.

    Albania E. F. Knight
  • Eunuchs are capable of affording illicit pleasure, whilst the male sopranos, or castrati, are often utilized for that purpose.

    Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology W. G. Aitchison Robertson
British Dictionary definitions for castrati


noun (pl) -ti (-tɪ), -tos
(in 17th- and 18th-century opera) a male singer whose testicles were removed before puberty, allowing the retention of a soprano or alto voice
Word Origin
C18: from Italian, from Latin castrātus castrated
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for castrati

plural of castrato.



1763, from Italian castrato, from Latin castratus (see castration).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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