noun, plural al·tos.
Origin of alto
Examples from the Web for alto
Contemporary Examples of alto
Historical Examples of alto
But there was one spot thrown into alto relievo by the sombre drapery of woe.The Story of My Life
Drusilla Osborn was first, then Lettie Burley, an alto, came next.Blue Ridge Country
I will alto make it a possession for the bittern, and pools for water.Bible Animals;
J. G. Wood
Marjon accompanied him with soft, subdued guitar-strokes, and with her alto voice.The Quest
Frederik van Eeden
Charlie took tenor, and Sybil treble, and I alto, and the sexton bass.Dodo, Volumes 1 and 2
Edward Frederic Benson
noun plural -tos
Word Origin for alto
Word Origin for alto-
1784, "man with an alto voice," from Italian alto (canto), from Latin altus "high" (see old). Originally a "high" man's voice, now more commonly applied to the lower range of women's voices (which is more strictly the contralto), an extension first recorded in 1881.
The alto in a man is totally distinct from the contralto in a woman. The tone is utterly different -- the best notes of the one are certainly not the best notes of the other; and although in certain cases a contralto may sing with good effect music written for a male alto (e.g. in some oratorios), yet the converse is scarcely ever true. ["How to Sing," 1890]
As a type of saxophone, from 1869.