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90s Slang You Should Know


[fawl-set-oh] /fɔlˈsɛt oʊ/
noun, plural falsettos.
an unnaturally or artificially high-pitched voice or register, especially in a man.
a person, especially a man, who sings with such a voice.
of, noting, or having the quality and compass of such a voice.
in a falsetto.
Origin of falsetto
1765-75; < Italian, equivalent to fals(o) (< Latin falsus false) + -etto -et Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for falsetto
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In a majority of male voices the upper tone must be taken either with full chest voice or with falsetto.

  • A wit, in a falsetto scream, asked if he might have the next dance.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
  • There were shrieks and falsetto laughter, squeaks and tinkles and shrill pipings and heavy stamping.

    Up the Mazaruni for Diamonds William La Varre
  • She convinces herself that Jack Valentine is not only a falsetto, but a financier.

  • The trolley-wire, lifting a whole city home to supper, is a giant with a falsetto voice.

    The Voice of the Machines Gerald Stanley Lee
  • He was uneasy as before, and adopted the falsetto tone of his comic moods.

    Narcissus Evelyn Scott
  • They whined it, they catcalled it, they shrieked it in falsetto imitation of Clarence's mother.

    Fanny Herself Edna Ferber
  • His falsetto was rich and brilliant, but totally unlike the other.

    Cornish Worthies, Volume 2 (of 2) Walter H. Tregellas
British Dictionary definitions for falsetto


noun (pl) -tos
a form of vocal production used by male singers to extend their range upwards beyond its natural compass by limiting the vibration of the vocal cords
Word Origin
C18: from Italian, from falsofalse
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 falsetto

"an artificial voice," 1774, Italian, diminutive of falso "false," from Latin falsus (see false).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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