[ kuhl-er-uh-toor-uh, -tyoor-uh, kol-, kohl- ]
See synonyms for: coloraturacoloraturas on

  1. runs, trills, and other florid decorations in vocal music.

  2. a lyric soprano of high range who specializes in such music.

Origin of coloratura

1730–40; <Italian <Late Latin: literally, coloring. See color, -ate1, -ure
  • Also col·or·a·ture [kuhl-er-uh-choor]. /ˈkʌl ər əˌtʃʊər/.

Words Nearby coloratura Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use coloratura in a sentence

  • I make a great distinction between the coloratura touch and the melody touch.

    Piano Mastery | Harriette Brower
  • coloratura singing, to be absolutely perfect, demands this degree of tonal excellence.

    The Psychology of Singing | David C. Taylor
  • The modern school of musical criticism does not hold coloratura singing in very high esteem.

    The Psychology of Singing | David C. Taylor
  • But this much is certain: coloratura singing still has a strong hold on the affections of the music loving public.

    The Psychology of Singing | David C. Taylor
  • Dazzling as the effects of coloratura are, they are obtained by the combination of a few simple elements.

    The Psychology of Singing | David C. Taylor

British Dictionary definitions for coloratura


colorature (ˈkɒlərəˌtjʊə)

/ (ˌkɒlərəˈtʊərə) /

    • (in 18th- and 19th-century arias) a florid virtuoso passage

    • (as modifier): a coloratura aria

  1. Also called: coloratura soprano a lyric soprano who specializes in such music

Origin of 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

Cultural 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.