Definition of soprano in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /səˈpranō/
Pronunciation: /səˈpränō/

noun (plural sopranos)

1The highest of the four standard singing voices: a piece composed for soprano, flute, and continuo [as modifier]: a good soprano voice
More example sentences
  • So great was the applause - and because it lasted so long - she reappeared and continued to sing in her clear soprano voice that reached the very back of the Opera House.
  • First, they imported madrigals (settings of poetry usually for five voices: two sopranos, alto, tenor, and bass) from Italy.
  • At times, it makes sense to play the soprano and alto voices with the right hand, the tenor and bass with the left hand.
1.1A female or boy singer with a soprano voice.
Example sentences
  • Why Mozart composed the motet for Rauzzini and not a female soprano is not known.
  • He visited Rome and Naples where he made contact with a number of singers, including the soprano Anna Strada who would become his leading lady.
  • It's an all out show but the music is just so emotional, it requires such a range in a singer, particularly the lead soprano.
1.2A part written for a soprano voice.
Example sentences
  • Anne Sofie von Otter is a stunningly good choice as Sesto, a young nobleman who Handel wrote as either soprano or tenor, so to cast such an intelligent mezzo is an imaginative step.
  • An aria from a modern opera is the title of a new work for soprano and orchestra written by composer John Haddock.
  • But before the last movement of the symphony, a solo for soprano, Mahler's musical realisation of a child's view of heaven, he discreetly opens his score.
1.3 [usually as modifier] An instrument of a high or the highest pitch in its family: a soprano saxophone
More example sentences
  • That was when he decided to switch to soprano saxophone - the instrument he's known for by most jazz fans.
  • It's accordion, soprano sax, clarinet, bass, banjo and percussion.
  • Tom Arthurs' Centipede are fidgety writhers, striking angular shapes with tricky grooves and utilising the spiked fork of their leader's trumpet and Laubrock's soprano saxophone.


Mid 18th century: Italian, from sopra 'above', from Latin supra.

Words that rhyme with soprano

Americano, Arno, boliviano, Bolzano, Carnot, chicano, guano, Kano, llano, Locarno, Lugano, Marciano, Marrano, meccano, oregano, Pisano, poblano, Romano, siciliano, Sukarno

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: so·pran·o

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.