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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sotto voce
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "No—nor anywhere else," said Hugh; but the second and larger clause was sotto voce.

    David Elginbrod George MacDonald
  • "Not very," says Mr. Luttrell, sotto voce, his eyes fixed on Molly.

    Molly Bawn Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
  • "That is an invaluable man, that Charles," murmurs her ladyship, sotto voce.

    Molly Bawn Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
  • "That makes at least two of us," Patrique Morvill said, sotto voce.

    A Slave is a Slave Henry Beam Piper
  • "We're goin' dress up a Sandy Claus, you know," Pep added, sotto voce.

    Christmas Zona Gale
  • "I shall soon have as great a horror of Gaza as Samson had," said she, sotto voce.

    The Bertrams

    Anthony Trollope
  • "I'd like to kick you down stairs, you young villain," he added, sotto voce.

    Tom, The Bootblack Horatio Alger
  • With heads close together, they converse for a while, sotto voce.

    The Death Shot Mayne Reid
  • "Likewise the characters," Dolph Dennison assured him, sotto voce.

    The Brentons Anna Chapin Ray
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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