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 But his voice was his brass ring — a jaunty, rapid staccato, breaking into squeaky dolphin-talk or falsetto sobbing to expose the do-gooders with his inventive, bruising vocabulary. New York Times, "Rush Limbaugh Dies at 70; Turned Talk Radio Into a Right-Wing Attack Machine," 17 Feb. 2021 Madlib adds a drum loop and stretches out a sample of the chorus so that there’s an insistent falsetto cry in the background. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "The Obsessive Beat-Making of Madlib," 18 Jan. 2021 There's even a moment in it when Frazier simply abandons his falsetto for a split second, thrillingly. Mark Kennedy, Star Tribune, "Review: Aaron Frazer brings great old school vibes to 2021," 7 Jan. 2021 Daniel Seavey even pulled a Phil Collins, banging away on the drums while turning in a flawless falsetto simultaneously. Katie Atkinson, Billboard, "Why Don't We Bring the Rock to 2020 MTV EMA With 'Fallin''," 8 Nov. 2020 Let Maxwell's delicate falsetto and cascading guitar strings whisk you off to a land filled with sepia colored dreams. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "20 of the Best Sleeping Songs to Listen to When You’re Lying Awake at Night," 26 Dec. 2020 The song frequently shifts tempo, layering piano loops, foreboding drums and hazy electric guitar with McCartney's frenzied falsetto. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Review: Paul McCartney's experimental 'McCartney III' ends 2020 on a high note," 17 Dec. 2020 The flexible beat is consistent throughout, only falling into the background as Styles launches into falsetto chorus and proudly proclaims his adoration. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 100 Best Songs of 2020: Staff List," 8 Dec. 2020 In fact, the song (which is heard in Saturday Night Fever) had come and gone three years earlier; what really happened was simply a case of too much of the Gibb sound, especially Barry’s falsetto. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Broken-Hearted Bee Gees," 13 Dec. 2020 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

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Falsetto.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/falsetto. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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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)

More from Merriam-Webster on falsetto

Nglish: Translation of falsetto for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about falsetto

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