fal·​set·​to | \ fȯl-ˈse-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce falsetto (audio) \
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 Isaak, retro-rock king of falsetto yearning and jovial rave-ups, was born too late for the Carpenters and Andy Williams era of holiday variety shows. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Chris Isaak conjures old holiday magic at new Brown County venue," 9 Dec. 2019 Levon Helm’s falsetto runs over every surface in the Bite House kitchen, as the Band’s harmonies play from a small but capable speaker on the top shelf of the glassware cabinet. Alex Delany, Bon Appétit, "I’d Never Even Heard of Bite House, Now I’ll Never Forget It," 7 Nov. 2019 Most of the tracks settled into a heavy midtempo pocket, and the lyrics – often muffled by distortion or sung in falsetto – held listener’s at arm’s length. Greg Kot, chicagotribune.com, "R.E.M., the Replacements and the albums that nearly broke them," 5 Nov. 2019 At times, the multi-instrumentalist-producer-songwriter with the joyous, flexible falsetto sounds like a much older, raspier vocalist on his fifth solo album, broken by time and circumstance. Greg Kot, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Raphael Saadiq bears soulful witness to his family’s anguish on ‘Jimmy Lee’," 23 Aug. 2019 Harket’s yearning voice spanned two and a half octaves, culminating in a super-high falsetto E5 that has undone many an overconfident karaoke singer. Rob Tannenbaum, Los Angeles Times, "‘Taaaake onnn meee!’ The unkillable, oh-so-profitable afterlife of a-ha’s ‘80s classic," 16 Sep. 2019 The music has lush backing vocals, crisp beats and the velvety fluidity of Burton’s voice, which can go from a warm mid-range to a high-flying falsetto. John Adamian, courant.com, "Best bets: Our 7 picks for this week’s concerts in Connecticut," 8 Sep. 2019 Among the ensemble, David LaMarr deserves a special shoutout for his own standout falsetto. Terry Byrne, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Jersey Boys’ has the hits, and a captivating story to tell, too," 12 Aug. 2019 The schtick was that while portraying Gibb, Fallon imitated Gibb's trademark falsetto singing voice but in conversational, non-song dialogue. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "Jason Isbell records with disco icon Barry Gibb," 15 Aug. 2019 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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Time Traveler for falsetto

Time Traveler

The first known use of falsetto was in 1721

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Statistics for falsetto

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Falsetto.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/falsetto. Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for falsetto


How to pronounce falsetto (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of falsetto

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on falsetto

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with falsetto

Spanish Central: Translation of falsetto

Nglish: Translation of falsetto for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about falsetto

Comments on falsetto

What made you want to look up falsetto? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a feeling of well-being or elation

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