alto

1 of 2

noun

al·​to ˈal-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce alto (audio)
ˈȯl-
plural altos
1
2
: the second highest voice part in a 4-part chorus
3
: a member of a family of instruments having a range lower than that of the treble or soprano
especially : an alto saxophone

alto

2 of 2

adjective

: relating to or having the range or part of an alto

Examples of alto in a Sentence

Noun She sang in her school choir as an alto. Adjective He plays the alto sax.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Ackerman was an alto in the Soldiers’ Chorus and also served as its enlisted conductor. Abigail Gruskin, Baltimore Sun, 12 Apr. 2024 The alto saxophonist had previously gone 0-11 at the Grammys, so this year’s win was a breakthrough. Paul Grein, Billboard, 24 Apr. 2024
Adjective
Lee Konitz, 92, was an alto saxophonist who was an innovative figure in jazz for more than 70 years. Washington Post, 24 Apr. 2020 Kristen Dubenion-Smith possesses a lyric-mezzo of uncommon beauty, her flickering vibrato and the amber cast of her tone making something special out of the alto arias. Joe Banno, Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2019 See all Example Sentences for alto 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'alto.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Italian, literally, high, from Latin altus

First Known Use

Noun

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

circa 1724, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of alto was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near alto

Cite this Entry

“Alto.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alto. Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

alto

noun
al·​to
ˈal-tō
plural altos
1
a
b
: the second highest of the four voice parts of a mixed chorus compare bass entry 2 sense 1a, soprano entry 2 sense 1, tenor sense 2a
2
: the second highest member of a family of musical instruments
especially : althorn

More from Merriam-Webster on alto

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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