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 Learn How to Hit Those Notes With Christina Aguilera Five-time Grammy Award winner, Christina Aguilera teaches warm-up exercises, breath control, vibrato, and how to perform her signature growls. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "15 of the Coolest MasterClass Courses You Can Take Right Now," 14 Apr. 2020 The music started softly and then grew stronger, filling my living room: floating flutes, a charge of clarinets, the friendly vibrato of bassoons. Brooke Jarvis, New York Times, "Livestreaming the Seattle Symphony Became a Source of Connection in Dark Times," 24 Mar. 2020 While the soprano occasionally sounds strained in higher passages, or overly vibrato-laden—lacking the overall vocal ease of, say, Anja Harteros, who recorded the work with Jansons and the BRSO in 2010—she more often exhibits coloristic beauty. Barbara Jepson, WSJ, "Three Classical Recordings Shadowed by Death," 27 Jan. 2020 Most violinists steeped in period tradition eschew vibrato, as Faust did Thursday. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Cleveland Orchestra guests put welcome personal stamps on well-known Beethoven, Mozart," 14 Feb. 2020 Instead, with the strings applying just a hint of vibrato, and Tao’s unhurried but unrelenting momentum driving the sound, its power lay in its ephemeral nature. Zoë Madonna,, "JCT Trio stuns in Rockport with superb Ives and Dvorák," 3 July 2019 Varied effects of vibrato, portamento and pizzicato bring different shades of intensity, atmosphere, eloquence: Even a single austere cello line down a few tones can become fraught with significance. New York Times, "Review: Pam Tanowitz’s ‘Four Quartets’ Hits Poetic Heights," 8 July 2018 Kristen Dubenion-Smith possesses a lyric-mezzo of uncommon beauty, her flickering vibrato and the amber cast of her tone making something special out of the alto arias. Joe Banno, Washington Post, "One aria sums up a joyful Washington Bach Consort ‘Christmas Oratorio’," 23 Dec. 2019 This super small synth packs 16 high-quality synthesized drum samples, a 16-step sequencer, and 16 different effects including distortion, vibrato, delay, and filter sweeps. Popular Science, "Four drum machines for hands-on beat making," 21 Jan. 2020

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of vibrato was circa 1876

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Statistics for vibrato

Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vibrato.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for vibrato


How to pronounce vibrato (audio)

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

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