li·​bret·​to | \ lə-ˈbre-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce libretto (audio) \
plural librettos or libretti\ lə-​ˈbre-​(ˌ)tē How to pronounce libretti (audio) \

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 Anne Kingsmill Finch’s libretto spryly comments on the easygoing Restoration hedonism of Charles’s court with 17th-century insider jokes that director Julia Bengtsson has reinterpreted as generic, winking irony. Washington Post, "Opera Lafayette shows political sycophancy, 17th-century style," 22 Nov. 2019 PAGLIACCI Music and libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo., "Boston Lyric Opera takes ‘Pagliacci’ to the circus - The Boston Globe," 29 Sep. 2019 Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage wrote the musical’s libretto, which is said to take place in 1992, just as Jackson is releasing his Dangerous album. Dave Quinn,, "Broadway's Michael Jackson Musical Lands Hairspray Live's Ephraim Sykes to Play Singer," 21 Nov. 2019 The book provided the libretto for an oratorio with music by her sister, composer Sarah Meneely-Kyder. Carole Goldberg,, "Write Stuff: Ta-Nehisi Coates in New Haven, Reyna Grande at Hartford library," 13 Nov. 2019 McNally’s libretto somehow manages to provide religious discourse while keeping the story pressing briskly forward, and the touches of humor that McNally wrote into the script bring welcome moments of respite. Howard Reich,, "Lyric Opera review: ‘Dead Man Walking’ powerfully probes guilt and redemption," 3 Nov. 2019 But the lack of movement during the triumphal march makes for dull watching, and a few references in the libretto to the presence of prisoners is awkward. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Power-voiced princesses highlight San Diego Opera’s season-opening ‘Aida’," 20 Oct. 2019 The libretto may not break the toxicity meter, but it is uncomfortably populated by stereotypes, with colonial order valorized as the peaceable solution to a world out of joint. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, "An 18th-Century Opera, Supercharged for Our Time," 14 Oct. 2019 The libretto examines the nature of the transactional relationship — including desire, vulnerability and cunning. Los Angeles Times, "Datebook: Gabriela Ruiz uses technology to reimagine herself in strange ways at VPAM," 20 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for libretto

Time Traveler

The first known use of libretto was in 1742

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Statistics for libretto

Last Updated

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Libretto.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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How to pronounce libretto (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of libretto

formal : the words of an opera or musical

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with libretto

Spanish Central: Translation of libretto

Nglish: Translation of libretto for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about libretto

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).


dull or mediocre

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