in petto

[ een-pet-taw; English in-pet-oh ]

adjective, adverbItalian.
  1. (of cardinals whom the pope appoints but does not disclose in consistory) not disclosed.

Origin of in petto

Literally, “in (the) breast” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use in petto in a sentence

  • Love was discussed in theory, a subject allowing lovers in petto to take the measure, as it were, of each other's heart.

    Parisians in the Country | Honore de Balzac
  • As Tosi explains it, "Voce di Petto is a full voice, which comes from the breast by strength."

    The Psychology of Singing | David C. Taylor
  • Amongst the younger band of politicians, it is not difficult to discern three Premiers in petto.

    Town Life in Australia | R. E. N. (Richard) Twopeny
  • No sooner was Petto released than he disappeared from his accustomed haunts with the gang in New York.

    The Barrel Mystery | William J. (William James) Flynn
  • Eminent counsel was engaged and a large fund raised by the criminal associates of Petto, the Ox, to fight for his freedom.

    The Barrel Mystery | William J. (William James) Flynn

British Dictionary definitions for in petto

in petto

/ (ɪn ˈpɛtəʊ) /

  1. RC Church not disclosed: used of the names of cardinals designate

Origin of in petto

Italian, literally: in the breast

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