castrato

[ ka-strah-toh, kuh-; Italian kah-strah-taw ]
/ kæˈstrɑ toʊ, kə-; Italian kɑˈstrɑ tɔ /
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noun, plural cas·tra·ti [ka-strah-tee, kuh-; Italian kah-strah-tee] /kæˈstrɑ ti, kə-; Italian kɑˈstrɑ ti/.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for castrato

British Dictionary definitions for castrato

castrato

/ (kæˈstrɑːtəʊ) /

noun plural -ti (-tɪ) or -tos

(in 17th- and 18th-century opera) a male singer whose testicles were removed before puberty, allowing the retention of a soprano or alto voice

Word Origin for castrato

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 castrato

castrato


n.

1763, from Italian castrato, from Latin castratus (see castration).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper