• synonyms


[kuhl-er-uh-too r-uh, -tyoo r-uh, kol-, kohl-]
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  1. runs, trills, and other florid decorations in vocal music.
  2. a lyric soprano of high range who specializes in such music.
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Also col·or·a·ture [kuhl-er-uh-choo r] /ˈkʌl ər əˌtʃʊər/.

Origin of coloratura

1730–40; < Italian < Late Latin: literally, coloring. See color, -ate1, -ure
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for coloratura

Historical Examples

  • No coloratura soprano can, so to speak, afford to be without it.

    The Complete Opera Book

    Gustav Kobb

  • It is the dancing equivalent of a coloratura soprano rle in opera.


    Carl Van Vechten

  • How beautiful were his coloratura, his trills,—simply flawless!

    How to Sing

    Lilli Lehmann

  • Their style of singing was the flexible, florid, coloratura style.

  • I am a medium, a coloratura hypnotist and a spirituous control.

British Dictionary definitions for coloratura


colorature (ˈkɒlərəˌtjʊə)

noun music
    1. (in 18th- and 19th-century arias) a florid virtuoso passage
    2. (as modifier)a coloratura aria
  1. Also called: coloratura soprano a lyric soprano who specializes in such music
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Word Origin

C19: from obsolete Italian, literally: colouring, from Latin colōrāre to colour
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 coloratura


"Ornamental passages, roulades, embellishments, etc., in vocal music" [Elson], 1740, from Italian coloratura, literally "coloring," from Late Latin coloratura, from colorare "to color," from color (see color (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

coloratura in Culture



Elaborate ornamentation in a piece of vocal music. A coloratura soprano is one who can sing such highly ornamented parts.

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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.