[suh-pran-oh, -prah-noh]Music.

noun, plural so·pran·os.

the uppermost part or voice.
the highest singing voice in women and boys.
a part for such a voice.
a singer with such a voice.


of or relating to a soprano; having the compass of a soprano.

Origin of soprano

1720–30; < Italian: literally, what is above, high, equivalent to sopra (< Latin suprā above) + -ano adj. suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for soprano

singer, treble, descant, falsetto, coloratura

Examples from the Web for soprano

Contemporary Examples of soprano

Historical Examples of soprano

  • Other things of Maria Angelina than her soprano were missed, also.

    The Innocent Adventuress

    Mary Hastings Bradley

  • Hilda's eyes drooped, and then she saw the photograph in the soprano's hand.


    James Huneker

  • A soprano voice was heard, and I listened as critically as I could.


    James Huneker

  • "No whispering," barked the soprano, shining the light directly in his eyes.

    Mezzerow Loves Company

    Floyd L. Wallace

  • It is for two voices, a soprano and contralto, and is excellently written.

British Dictionary definitions for soprano


noun plural -pranos or -prani (-ˈprɑːniː)

the highest adult female voice, having a range approximately from middle C to the A a thirteenth above it
the voice of a young boy before puberty
a singer with such a voice
the highest part of a piece of harmony
  1. the highest or second highest instrument in a family of instruments
  2. (as modifier)a soprano saxophone
See also treble

Word Origin for soprano

C18: from Italian, from sopra above, from Latin suprā
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 soprano

1738, "the highest singing voice," ranging easily through the two octaves above middle C, from Italian soprano "the treble in music," literally "high," from sopra "above," from Latin supra, fem. ablative singular of super (see super-). Meaning "a singer having a soprano voice" is from 1738. As an adjective from 1730. Soprano saxophone is attested from 1859.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

soprano in Culture


The highest range of the female singing voice. (Compare alto and mezzo soprano.)

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.