noun, plural al·tos.
Origin of alto
Definition for alto (2 of 2)
Examples from the Web for alto
But how can I say that when the protagonist is a talking bear who plays the alto sax?
He previously served as executive chef of Fiamma Osteria, Convivio, and Alto.
While the first voice is singing the first half, the second voice sings the second half as the alto part of the first half.How Music Developed|W. J. Henderson
Scenes in General Grant's career are depicted with sculpture on the plane and relieved surfaces in alto rilievo.The Greater Republic|Charles Morris
Better yet, the soprano had sung exactly to key, the alto had shrieked "Beware!"Miss Billy's Decision|Eleanor H. Porter
The Kyrie was coldly given, the alto and bass, in the soli parts, being hardly strung up to tune.
In both sexes the larynx of the low voice, alto or bass, is larger than that of the high voice, soprano or tenor.Resonance in Singing and Speaking|Thomas Fillebrown
British Dictionary definitions for alto (1 of 2)
noun plural -tos
Word Origin for alto
British Dictionary definitions for alto (2 of 2)
Word Origin for alto-
Word Origin and History 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.