[ kuhl-er-uh-too r-uh, -tyoo r-uh, kol-, kohl- ]
/ ˌkʌl ər əˈtʊər ə, -ˈtyʊər ə, ˌkɒl-, ˌkoʊl- /


runs, trills, and other florid decorations in vocal music.
a lyric soprano of high range who specializes in such music.

Nearby words

  1. colorado topaz,
  2. coloradoite,
  3. colorant,
  4. coloration,
  5. coloration, protective,
  6. colorature,
  7. colorbearer,
  8. colorblind,
  9. colorblindness,
  10. colorbreed

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for coloratura

British Dictionary definitions for coloratura


colorature (ˈkɒlərəˌtjʊə)

/ (ˌkɒlərəˈtʊərə) /

noun music

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

Word Origin for coloratura

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.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for coloratura


[ (kul-uhr-uh-toor-uh) ]

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

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.