hel·​den·​te·​nor ˈhel-dən-ˌtā-ˌnȯr How to pronounce heldentenor (audio) -ˌte-nər How to pronounce heldentenor (audio)
often capitalized
: a tenor with a powerful, dramatic voice well suited to heroic roles (as in Wagnerian operas)

Examples of heldentenor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That said, Saturday night was a fireworks show, including a trio of stunner main-stage debuts from soprano Pretty Yende, British heldentenor David Butt Philip and bass-baritone Christian Van Horn. Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2021 And the music is rapturously handled, thanks to the conductor Lorenzo Viotti, the heldentenor Clay Hilley and the soprano Lenneke Ruiten. New York Times, 23 Sep. 2021 Her Florestan was the heldentenor Ben Heppner, at his best. Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 17 Mar. 2017 As Rodolfo, Carreras was first-rate, his heldentenor voice enhanced by an impressive range of tonal color. Special To The Plain Dealer, cleveland.com, 13 June 2017 Klaus Florian Vogt, singing the title role for the first time, united his pure, boyish tone with heldentenor weight. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, 23 May 2017

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

Word History


German, from Held hero + Tenor tenor

First Known Use

circa 1903, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of heldentenor was circa 1903

Dictionary Entries Near heldentenor

Cite this Entry

“Heldentenor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heldentenor. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

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