[ka-strah-toh, kuh-; Italian kah-strah-taw]
- a male singer, especially in the 18th century, castrated before puberty to prevent his soprano or contralto voice range from changing.
Origin of castrato
1755–65; < Italian < Latin castrāt(us); see castrate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for castrati
Our good-byes at Castrati before starting were affectionate and protracted.
This is the house of a great man, a chieftain; and we were told the name of the place is Castrati.
However, just as the sun was setting we approached the hut of Castrati.
Eunuchs are capable of affording illicit pleasure, whilst the male sopranos, or castrati, are often utilized for that purpose.Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
W. G. Aitchison Robertson
We entered the large lower room, which in every respect was similar to that in which we passed the previous night at Castrati.
- (in 17th- and 18th-century opera) a male singer whose testicles were removed before puberty, allowing the retention of a soprano or alto voice
C18: from Italian, from Latin castrātus castrated
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
Word Origin and History for castrati
plural of castrato.
1763, from Italian castrato, from Latin castratus (see castration).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper