Definition of castrato in English:


Syllabification: cas·tra·to
Pronunciation: /kaˈsträdō

noun (plural castrati /-tē/)

A male singer castrated in boyhood so as to retain a soprano or alto voice. The practice of castration was banned in 1903.
More example sentences
  • We tend to associate Handel operas with high voiced prima donnas, the castrati and the sopranos.
  • And there was a fascinating account of the castrati, the male singers who lost their testicles before puberty.
  • The recital concludes with a rarely heard aria with cello obbligato from Arianna, written for the soprano castrato Carlo Scalzi.


mid 18th century: from Italian, past participle of castrare (see castrate).

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