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[vohl-tuh, vol-; Italian vawl-tah] /ˈvoʊl tə, ˈvɒl-; Italian ˈvɔl tɑ/
noun, plural volte
[vohl-tey, vol-; Italian vawl-te] /ˈvoʊl teɪ, ˈvɒl-; Italian ˈvɔl tɛ/ (Show IPA).
turn; time (used in phrases): una volta (“once”);
prima volta (“first time”).
Origin of volta
1635-45; < Italian: a turn; see volt2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for volte
Historical Examples
  • The miserable state of the nation seemed to demand a volte face.

  • But it was too late: the volte face was too sudden and complete.

    The Shewing-up of Blanco Posnet George Bernard Shaw
  • The volte is a circular movement, executed by the horse upon a curved line, not less than twelve of his steps in length.

    Hand-book for Horsewomen H. L. De Bussigny
  • Pretending concern in her, had he not really joined the camp of her enemies and detractors, the volte face thing!

    The Shriek Charles Somerville
  • If I had inwardly reproached him for fickleness when he confessed his volte face, I exonerated him at sight of his old love.

    The Brightener C. N. Williamson
  • Morley speaks of the volte, and says it is characterised by 'rising and leaping,' and is of the same 'measure' as a coranto.

    Shakespeare and Music Edward W. Naylor
  • Of all things, the 'volte sciollo', and the 'pensieri stretti', are necessary.

  • His cabinet pictures were also lively; witness the four Seasons at volte, a seat of the noble family of Chigi.

  • The simplicity of M. Fnelon was rudely shocked by this "volte face."

  • This volte face (I happen to know) will come as a severe disappointment to many; for we had quite counted him one of us.

    From a Cornish Window Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
British Dictionary definitions for volte


a variant spelling of volt2


a river in W Africa, formed by the confluence of the Black Volta and the White Volta in N central Ghana: flows south to the Bight of Benin: the chief river of Ghana. Length: 480 km (300 miles); (including the Black Volta) 1600 km (1000 miles)
Lake Volta, an artificial lake in Ghana, extending 408 km (250 miles) upstream from the Volta River Dam on the Volta River: completed in 1966. Area: 8482 sq km (3275 sq miles)


/ˈvəʊltə; Italian ˈvɔlta/
Count Alessandro (alesˈsandro). 1745–1827, Italian physicist after whom the volt is named. He made important contributions to the theory of current electricity and invented the voltaic pile (1800), the electrophorus (1775), and an electroscope


/ˈvɒltə; Italian ˈvɔlta/
noun (pl) -te (Italian) (-te)
a quick-moving Italian dance popular during the 16th and 17th centuries
a piece of music written for or in the rhythm of this dance, in triple time
Word Origin
C17: from Italian: turn; see volt²
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 volte


West African river, from 15c. Portuguese Rio da Volta, literally "river of return" (perhaps because it was where ships turned around and headed for home) or "river of bend," in reference to its course.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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volte in Science
Italian physicist who in 1800 invented the voltaic pile, which was the first source of continuous electric current. The volt unit of electromotive force is named for him.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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