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alto

[ al-toh ]
/ ˈæl toʊ /
Music.
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See synonyms for: alto / altos on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural al·tos.
adjective
of, relating to, or having the tonal range of the alto.
(of a musical instrument) second highest in a family of musical instruments: alto saxophone.
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Origin of alto

1775–85; <Italian <Latin altus high

Other definitions for alto (2 of 2)

alto-

variant of alti-: altostratus.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use alto in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for alto (1 of 2)

alto
/ (ˈæltəʊ) /

noun plural -tos
the highest adult male voice; countertenor
(in choral singing) a shortened form of contralto
a singer with such a voice
another name for viola 1 (def. 1)
a flute, saxophone, etc, that is the third or fourth highest instrument in its group
adjective
denoting a flute, saxophone, etc, that is the third or fourth highest instrument in its group

Word Origin for alto

C18: from Italian: high, from Latin altus

British Dictionary definitions for alto (2 of 2)

alto-

combining form
highaltocumulus; altostratus

Word Origin for alto-

from Latin altus high
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

Cultural definitions for alto

alto

The lowest range of the female singing voice, also called contralto. (Compare mezzo soprano and soprano.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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