li·​bret·​to | \ lə-ˈbre-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce libretto (audio) \
plural librettos or libretti\ lə-​ˈbre-​(ˌ)tē How to pronounce libretto (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 Instead of progressing in the linear fashion of the libretto, the soldier’s full life is often in view, inside single shots, no matter the age being dramatized within a particular song. Seth Colter Walls, New York Times, "Prompted by the Pandemic, Opera Philadelphia Innovates Online," 22 Jan. 2021 The French composer Camille Saint-Saëns later turned one of these—Parysatis (1890), about the queen of ancient Persia—into an opera with Jane providing the libretto. Rue Des Archives/album, History Magazine, "This French archaeologist broke the law—by wearing pants," 17 Dec. 2020 Jenny O'Connell's to-the-point libretto both make a strong impression. Terry Blain Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Necessity spawns a worthy innovation by opera troupes in Minnesota and beyond," 5 Nov. 2020 The season will begin in March with the world premiere of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, composed by Joby Talbot with a libretto by Gene Scheer. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Dallas Opera plans live spring performances in the Winspear Opera House — with big differences," 10 Dec. 2020 But fate did not dare interrupt this venture, which was more notable for its soaring score, ingenious libretto and inspired musical performances than for minor flaws in lighting and camera angles. Howard Reich,, "For Chicago’s classical and jazz scenes, rays of hope amid the despair of music in 2020," 7 Dec. 2020 Video cameras captured close-ups of the singers on screens throughout the parking lot, where the English translation of the Italian libretto was also shown in subtitles. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego Opera reports drive-in ‘La bohème’ a success," 20 Nov. 2020 Deborah Brevoort's tart libretto is one of the best in the entire series, and its wittiness and ironies are relished by the sparky soloists Kate Jackman, Joshua Kohl and David Hamilton. Terry Blain Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Necessity spawns a worthy innovation by opera troupes in Minnesota and beyond," 5 Nov. 2020 What’s more, Wagner’s libretto is a work of literature, as witness a majestic bilingual edition available this fall from the Folio Society. Washington Post, "If ever there was a moment for Richard Wagner, it is 2020," 3 Nov. 2020

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

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The first known use of libretto was in 1742

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Last Updated

10 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Libretto.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of libretto

formal : the words of an opera or musical

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

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