vi·​bra·​to | \ vi-ˈbrä-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce vibrato (audio) , vī-\
plural vibratos

Definition of vibrato

: a slightly tremulous effect imparted to vocal or instrumental tone for added warmth and expressiveness by slight and rapid variations in pitch

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Other Words from vibrato

vibratoless \ vi-​ˈbrä-​(ˌ)tō-​ləs How to pronounce vibratoless (audio) , vī-​ \ adjective

Examples of vibrato in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Rae sings with a high pure and delicate voice occasionally rippled with a slight vibrato. John Adamian,, "Tedeschi Trucks And Jay Critch Are Just Two Of This Week's Must-See Shows," 2 July 2018 There’s no tricks or gimmicks here -- a little vibrato guitar, a swinging rhythm section, a few raindrops of piano and a lively double-time chant to wrap it up. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "Phil Cook's Americana Delicacy 'Steampowered Blues' Is Pure, Simple & Immediately Appealing: Premiere," 3 Apr. 2018 Nelson evokes his father lyrically and in his vocal take, with his dad’s vibrato and phrasing. Paul De Revere, Billboard, "Strong Debuts From Leslie Odom Jr., GIVERS and More Kick Off Jazz Fest 2018," 28 Apr. 2018 His goal call features a blend of tasteful vibrato and guttural enthusiasm that rises above the chorus of cheering fans and other color commentators. Amanda Christovich, USA TODAY, "Andres Cantor explains how his famous 'gol!' call came to be, gives his top 5 calls of the last decade," 13 July 2018 Eventually adding the baritone sax to his arsenal, the fiery Bechet would become known for his thrillingly unorthodox playing style -- highlighted by a wavering vibrato, one of his signatures -- and astounding volume. Mike Scott,, "The fiery genius who was 'the very epitome of jazz'," 28 Apr. 2018 The Festival Orchestra, comprised of concertmasters and principals from orchestras across the continent, played without vibrato in an early music style — on modern instruments. Christian Hertzog,, "A rare, fiery performance of a Rebel ballet kicks off Mainly Mozart Festival," 10 June 2018 What should’ve been soaring, sustained notes were blunted by excessive vibrato. David Patrick Stearns,, "Opera Philadelphia's 'Carmen': A visually provocative, well-cast production," 28 Apr. 2018 However, with his obviously exaggerated vibrato and slightly off-key delivery, the only tears Longoria shed were from laughter. Abby Jones, Billboard, "Will Ferrell Tries Serenading Eva Longoria to Tears With 'My Heart Will Go On': Watch," 3 May 2018

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

circa 1876, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vibrato

Italian, from past participle of vibrare to vibrate, from Latin

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Time Traveler for vibrato

The first known use of vibrato was circa 1876

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English Language Learners Definition of vibrato

music : a way of making small, rapid changes in a musical note that you are singing or playing so that it seems to shake slightly

More from Merriam-Webster on vibrato

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vibrato Encyclopedia article about vibrato

Comments on vibrato

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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