castrato

noun
cas·​tra·​to | \ ka-ˈsträ-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce castrato (audio) , kə- \
plural castrati\ ka-​ˈsträ-​tē How to pronounce castrato (audio) , kə-​ \

Definition of castrato

: a singer castrated before puberty to preserve the soprano or contralto range of his voice

Examples of castrato in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Mary of Clopas, a role originally sung by a castrato (an adult male whose boyhood high voice had been preserved by castration), was portrayed by Daniel Bubeck with a muffled, hooty countertenor. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 19 Apr. 2021 The celebrated castrato with whom Ms. Hallenberg has been especially associated is Carlo Maria Michelangelo Nicola Broschi — known as Farinelli. Christopher Corwin, New York Times, 20 Feb. 2020 Even by the time Moreschi was born, the castrato voice had long since gone out of fashion in the world of opera. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 15 July 2019 Many castrati came from modest backgrounds and were propelled into their careers by families eager for some kind of opportunity in the Catholic Church. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 15 July 2019 Farinelli, the castrato at the center of Claire van Kampen’s baroque drama about the healing powers of music, sings his final solo. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 22 Mar. 2018 Farinelli, the castrato at the center of Claire van Kampen’s baroque drama about the healing powers of music, sings his final solo. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 22 Mar. 2018 Farinelli, the castrato at the center of Claire van Kampen’s baroque drama about the healing powers of music, sings his final solo. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 22 Mar. 2018 Farinelli, the castrato at the center of Claire van Kampen’s baroque drama about the healing powers of music, sings his final solo. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 22 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'castrato.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of castrato

1763, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for castrato

Italian, from past participle of castrare to castrate, from Latin

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The first known use of castrato was in 1763

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Dictionary Entries Near castrato

castrative

castrato

castrensian

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Cite this Entry

“Castrato.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/castrato. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on castrato

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about castrato

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