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[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for falsetto
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A wit, in a falsetto scream, asked if he might have the next dance.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
  • He was a creature that had no falsetto in a single fibre of his being, no shadow of affectation.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • He had to repeat this in a falsetto voice before June understood.

    The End of Time Wallace West
  • It was just then that Ebony observed him and uttered a falsetto cry of astonishment.

    The Fugitives R.M. Ballantyne
  • She convinces herself that Jack Valentine is not only a falsetto, but a financier.

  • He was uneasy as before, and adopted the falsetto tone of his comic moods.

    Narcissus Evelyn Scott
  • His falsetto was rich and brilliant, but totally unlike the other.

    Cornish Worthies, Volume 2 (of 2) Walter H. Tregellas
  • His falsetto was rich, sweet, and brilliant, and totally unlike the other.

    Cornish Characters S. Baring-Gould
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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