Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[li-bret-oh] /lɪˈbrɛt oʊ/
noun, plural librettos, libretti
[li-bret-ee] /lɪˈbrɛt i/ (Show IPA)
the text or words of an opera or similar extended musical composition.
a book or booklet containing such a text.
Origin of libretto
1735-45; < Italian, diminutive of libro book < Latin liber; see -et Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for libretto
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The music is lost, but the libretto survives, and that is enough to account for the collapse.

    Handel Edward J. Dent
  • He also seized the opportunity of offering him a libretto for a new oratorio.

    Handel Edward J. Dent
  • The summer was devoted to the composition of Belshazzar, for which Jennens had supplied the libretto.

    Handel Edward J. Dent
  • In writing the libretto I had become acquainted with the actresses.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • I do not claim that our libretto was good poetry but it served as a vehicle for the tunes.

    My Reminiscences Rabindranath Tagore
  • He did not notice that the binding which held the libretto was tricolored.

  • And he has written a grand opera on a mediæval theme to his own libretto.

British Dictionary definitions for libretto


noun (pl) -tos, -ti (-tiː)
a text written for and set to music in an opera, etc
Word Origin
C18: from Italian, diminutive of libro book
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for libretto

(plural libretti), 1742, from Italian libretto, diminutive of libro "book," from Latin liber (genitive libri), see library. Related: Librettist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for libretto

Word Value for libretto

Scrabble Words With Friends