li·bret·to | \lə-ˈbre-(ˌ)tō \
plural librettos or libretti\lə-ˈbre-(ˌ)tē \

Definition of libretto 

1 : the text of a work (such as an opera) for the musical theater

2 : the book containing a libretto

Examples of libretto in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

So ‘Darkest Hour’ tries to deal with that in its libretto and — in a very real way — wrestles with that. George Varga,, "Spring arts 2018: Meet musician Anthony Davis," 25 Mar. 2018 Her adroit performance is as well suited to the libretto’s subtleties as her voice is to the music’s thrashing intensity. Seth Colter Walls, New York Times, "Review: A B-Movie Starlet Becomes an Opera Diva in ‘Acquanetta’," 10 Jan. 2018 An interpreter translates, telling in English the Armenian stories like a libretto for an opera, so the audience will understand. Allison Keyes, Smithsonian, "Illuminating the Shadowy Art of Armenian Puppet Theater," 13 July 2018 His protégée Marcela Fuentes-Berain wrote the libretto. Pam Kragen,, "Singing the most magical element in 'Florencia'," 19 Mar. 2018 Sung in English, the libretto has been peppered with modern-day bits of social commentary that reflect the spirit of the genre, an observation echoed by the composer’s daughter, Yvonne Kalman, who spoke with me at Sunday’s matinee. Howard Reich,, "Remembering Henry Butler, a New Orleans giant," 9 July 2018 Borodin adapted the libretto from an East Slavic epic centered on a 12th-century Russian prince and his campaigns against Polovtsian tribes. Bethany Ao,, "7 days of things to do in Philadelphia from June 24 to 30," 21 June 2018 It was based on the 1995 movie, but the lyrics and libretto were written by Wong, who also directed. Karen Ho, GQ, "BD Wong Doesn't Want Fame—He Wants Success," 27 June 2018 Anyone else might want to wait until this once no-doubt fascinating libretto by Giacinto Cigognini gets a rewrite (though Haymarket, committed to historical authenticity, would eschew that). Deanna Isaacs, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Opera / Performing Arts Haymarket Opera's L'Orontea is a time machine to the 17th century," 5 June 2018

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

1742, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for libretto

Italian, diminutive of libro book, from Latin libr-, liber

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Statistics for libretto

Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for libretto

The first known use of libretto was in 1742

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English Language Learners Definition of libretto

: the words of an opera or musical

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Comments on libretto

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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