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sotto voce

[sot-oh voh-chee; Italian sawt-taw vaw-che] /ˈsɒt oʊ ˈvoʊ tʃi; Italian ˈsɔt tɔ ˈvɔ tʃɛ/
in a low, soft voice so as not to be overheard.
Origin of sotto voce
1730-40; < Italian: literally, under (the) voice Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sotto voce
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There were cheery responses to Bindle's remarks, and sotto voce references to Mrs. Bindle as "a stuck-up cat."

    Adventures of Bindle Herbert George Jenkins
  • "I shall soon have as great a horror of Gaza as Samson had," said she, sotto voce.

    The Bertrams Anthony Trollope
  • “And so she has been,” said Julius, fervently, but sotto voce.

    The Three Brides Charlotte M. Yonge
  • "Not very," says Mr. Luttrell, sotto voce, his eyes fixed on Molly.

    Molly Bawn Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
  • Aennchen (reflectively to herself, sotto voce): "Nicht fur Kinder!"

  • Madeline inserted a sotto voce: "Of course, it's the picture-girl!"

    A Likely Story William De Morgan
  • I heard my aunt say sotto voce that she distrusted dark people.

    Rich Relatives Compton Mackenzie
  • "Nor on more humane and generous grounds," said the Major, sotto voce.

    Aaron's Rod D. H. Lawrence
  • sotto voce he remarked to Scraggs: "I see him slippin' a three hundred dollar hawser, eh, Scraggsy, old stick-in-the-mud?"

    Captain Scraggs Peter B. Kyne
British Dictionary definitions for sotto voce

sotto voce

/ˈsɒtəʊ ˈvəʊtʃɪ/
in an undertone
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
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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.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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