[ vi-brah-toh, vahy- ]
/ vɪˈbrɑ toʊ, vaɪ- /

noun, plural vi·bra·tos. Music.

a pulsating effect, produced in singing by the rapid reiteration of emphasis on a tone, and on bowed instruments by a rapid change of pitch corresponding to the vocal tremolo.


Origin of vibrato

1860–65; < Italian < Latin vibrātus (past participle); see vibrate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vibrato

British Dictionary definitions for vibrato


/ (vɪˈbrɑːtəʊ) /

noun plural -tos music

a slight, rapid, and regular fluctuation in the pitch of a note produced on a stringed instrument by a shaking movement of the hand stopping the strings
an oscillatory effect produced in singing by fluctuation in breath pressure or pitch
Compare tremolo

Word Origin for vibrato

C19: from Italian, from Latin vibrāre to vibrate
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 vibrato


1861, from Italian vibrato, from Latin vibratus, past participle of vibrare "to vibrate" (see vibrate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper