put·​to | \ ˈpü-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce putto (audio) \
plural putti\ ˈpü-​(ˌ)tē How to pronounce putto (audio) \

Definition of putto

: 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 In the middle of the set, a pinstriped putto peed into a fountain. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "Blood, Money, Oil. And Clothes.," 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, "Cleveland Museum of Art ignites burning river anniversary with incendiary art of Cai Guo-Qiang," 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, "‘Masterpieces of French Faience: Selections From the Sidney R. Knafel Collection’ Review: Not Dishwasher Safe," 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, "Wines of the week: 3 great bottles of Chianti," 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, "Versace goes punk wild with homey looks," 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, "‘Casanova: The Seduction of Europe’ Review: Lusting After Beauty," 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, "How Two Hollywood Power Players Modernized Their Midcentury LA Home," 25 Mar. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'putto.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of putto

circa 1660, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for putto

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about putto

Time Traveler for putto

Time Traveler

The first known use of putto was circa 1660

See more words from the same year

Statistics for putto

Cite this Entry

“Putto.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/putto. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on putto

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about putto

Comments on putto

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!