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sotto voce

[sot-oh voh-chee; Italian sawt-taw vaw-che]
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adverb
  1. in a low, soft voice so as not to be overheard.
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Origin of sotto voce

1730–40; < Italian: literally, under (the) voice
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sotto voce

Historical Examples

  • "That means keep out Hester Grimes," said Bobby, sotto-voce.

    The Girls of Central High on Lake Luna

    Gertrude W. Morrison


British Dictionary definitions for sotto voce

sotto voce

adverb
  1. in an undertone
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Word Origin

C18: from Italian: under (one's) voice
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

Word Origin and History for sotto voce

1737, Italian, literally "under voice," from sotto, from Latin subtus "below" (cf. French sous; see sub-) + voce, from Latin vocem (nominative vox); see voice (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper