fal·set·to | \fȯl-ˈse-(ˌ)tō \
plural falsettos

Definition of falsetto 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an artificially high voice especially : an artificially produced singing voice that overlaps and extends above the range of the full voice especially of a tenor

2 : a singer who uses falsetto



Definition of falsetto (Entry 2 of 2)

: in falsetto

Examples of falsetto in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Moses Sumney The silky smooth falsetto that Moses Sumney is known for remained flawless in his afternoon performance. Erin Richards And Samantha West, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Eaux Claires IV review: Day 2 music," 8 July 2018 The singer's timorous, tuneless falsetto convinced me to put in a bid, but somebody else won the auction for $113.61. Leor Galil, Chicago Reader, "Alexa Viscius of Bunny on a bass-playing hero who makes perfect posters," 27 June 2018 The songs layer his hummed falsettos over bouncy synths and spartan beats. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Charlie Puth Finds a Mature New Sound on Sophomore Album Voicenotes," 10 May 2018 Their collective had released only a few songs publicly as of this weekend, but fans got to hear an album's worth of Vernon’s signature falsetto and folktronica dilations combined with Dessner’s guitar and vocals. Erin Richards, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Eaux Claires IV review: Day 1 music," 7 July 2018 Moses Sumney Moses Sumney’s songs ache for connection yet often end up lonely, his otherworldly falsetto cradled by slow-motion R&B grooves. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "At Moogfest, Electronics Stimulate Ears and Emotions," 21 May 2018 Is there such a thing as too much falsetto in one boy band? Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Boy Band Megaband: An All-Time Billboard Fantasy Draft," 25 Apr. 2018 Amidst the heaviness the Atlanta band occasionally left some space for Andy Hull’s fragile falsetto to soar, like a butterfly fluttering through a war zone. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Review: Arcade Fire burns hot enough to consume a few flaws at Summerfest," 9 July 2018 Smith’s honeyed tenor absolutely glistened — overshadowed only by a falsetto for days. Théoden Janes, charlotteobserver, "Review: Did Sam Smith and his sad songs find a way to send Charlotte fans home happy?," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The Neighbourhood The Neighbourhood knows how to pair a high-flying falsetto vocal with a gut-rumbling low-end synth line. John Adamian, courant.com, "Music Festivals And Concerts Not To Miss This Week," 18 June 2018 Across those three tracks, Timberlake fashioned a new sound with the Neptunes, the production duo of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, shedding his pop-singer sheen for dirty drums, falsetto vocal runs, and, notably, guitar. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "Justin Timberlake’s Roots Run Deep," 14 Mar. 2018 Fats Domino announced himself with this single: a two-fisted boogie-woogie piano intro with tremolo flourishes, verses that establish his 200-pound physique and his New Orleans locale and a falsetto vocal like a trumpet solo. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Fats Domino Songs: Listen to 12 Essential Tracks," 25 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'falsetto.' 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 falsetto


1721, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1940, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for falsetto


Italian, from diminutive of falso false, from Latin falsus

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Statistics for falsetto

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for falsetto

The first known use of falsetto was in 1721

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More Definitions for falsetto



English Language Learners Definition of falsetto

: a very high voice used by a man (such as a male singer)

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