castrato

[ ka-strah-toh, kuh-; Italian kah-strah-taw ]

noun,plural cas·tra·ti [ka-strah-tee, kuh-; Italian kah-strah-tee]. /kæˈstrɑ ti, kə-; Italian kɑˈstrɑ ti/.
  1. a male singer, especially in the 18th century, castrated before puberty to prevent his soprano or contralto voice range from changing.

Origin of castrato

1
1755–65; <Italian <Latin castrāt(us); see castrate

Words Nearby castrato

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use castrato in a sentence

  • I thought he was a 'castrato' who, as is the custom in Rome, performed all the parts of a prima donna.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete | Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • My mother advised me to continue to give myself out as a castrato, in the hope of being able to take me to Rome.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete | Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • My new visitor proved to be the first castrato of the theatre, who brought an invitation to dinner from Narici.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete | Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

British Dictionary definitions for castrato

castrato

/ (kæˈstrɑːtəʊ) /


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

Origin of castrato

1
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