put·​to ˈpü-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce putto (audio)
plural putti ˈpü-(ˌ)tē How to pronounce putto (audio)
: a figure of an infant boy especially in European art of the Renaissance
usually used in plural

Examples of putto in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Above him a grisaille putto holds his fingers to his lips, indicating the secret nature of the encounter. WSJ, 7 Dec. 2021 In the middle of the set, a pinstriped putto peed into a fountain. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, 30 Sep. 2019 Rolling in the sky overhead are winged infants, or putti, who cavort amid splashy clouds of color that seem more liquid than smoky. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, 9 June 2019 Even more striking, a dish painted by Pierre II Chapelle (Rouen c. 1725-30) depicts the wine god, Bacchus, about to enjoy a libation freshly squeezed by a merry putto. Barrymore Laurence Scherer, WSJ, 1 Jan. 2019 These were the sorts of meals involving heaping plates of pasta and red sauce in a restaurant festooned with clichés: murals of gondolas, peasants and putti, a soundtrack heavy with accordion and kitsch. Patrick Comiskey, latimes.com, 5 Apr. 2018 The colorful knitwear that featured cherubic putti in oval frames looked inspired by church ceilings, and angelic visages also graced motorcycle jackets. Colleen Barry, The Seattle Times, 13 Jan. 2018 Here are lovely interiors by Pietro Longhi and mythological and religious paintings featuring tumbling, bare-breasted nymphs and chubby, nude putti by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Lance Esplund, WSJ, 11 Sep. 2017 The most recent owner had layered on some unfortunate touches, including cherubic putti statues in the pool area and a crystal chandelier in the bathroom. Nancy Hass, ELLE Decor, 25 Mar. 2015 See More

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

Word History


Italian, literally, boy, from Vulgar Latin *puttus, alteration of Latin putus; akin to Latin puer boy — more at puerile

First Known Use

circa 1660, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of putto was circa 1660

Dictionary Entries Near putto

Cite this Entry

“Putto.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/putto. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

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