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[poo-toh; Italian poot-taw] /ˈpu toʊ; Italian ˈput tɔ/
noun, plural putti
[poo-tee; Italian poot-tee] /ˈpu ti; Italian ˈput ti/ (Show IPA).
Fine Arts.
a representation of a cherubic infant, often shown winged.
Origin of putto
1635-45; < Italian: literally, boy < Latin putus Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for putti
Historical Examples
  • These emblems are repeated in the hands of the putti on either side of the steps.

    Pintoricchio Evelyn March Phillipps
  • Have Correggio's putti grown up yet and walked out of their frames?

    Correggio Estelle M. Hurll
  • The erect form of the Madonna is relieved in striking chiaroscuro against the mantle, upheld by putti.

    The Venetian School of Painting

    Evelyn March Phillipps
  • The monument stands under an arch, on which are three putti who hold up some folds as if they were opening the curtain of heaven.

  • Round the upper frieze are putti hunting, bearing garlands, &c.

    The Shores of the Adriatic F. Hamilton Jackson
  • While the plastic arts at all events distinguished between angels and putti, and used the former for all serious purposes.

  • With four putti climbing over a circular balcony, seen in steep perspective, and covered with beautiful vine leaves and flowers.

    Giorgione Herbert Cook
  • The composition is crowned by a tympanum and putti suggested by Donatello's Annunciation.


    David Lindsay, Earl of Crawford
  • The paradox of the pulpits consists in the frieze of putti above the reliefs: putti who dance, play, romp, and run about.


    David Lindsay, Earl of Crawford
  • Wreaths and putti form its decoration, and though Donatellesque, they are not by Donatello.


    David Lindsay, Earl of Crawford
British Dictionary definitions for putti


noun (pl) -ti (-tɪ)
a representation of a small boy, a cherub or cupid, esp in baroque painting or sculpture See also amoretto
Word Origin
from Italian, from Latin putus boy
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 putti

1640s, from Italian putti "small boys," plural of putto, from Latin putus "boy, child" (see puerility).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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