from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A low female singing voice; a contralto.
- n. A countertenor.
- n. The range between soprano and tenor.
- n. A singer whose voice lies within this range.
- n. An instrument that sounds within this range.
- n. A vocal or instrumental part written in this range.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A musical part or section higher than tenor and lower than soprano, formerly the part that performed a countermelody above the tenor or main melody.
- n. this sense) A person or instrument that performs the alto part
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Formerly the part sung by the highest male, or counter-tenor, voices; now the part sung by the lowest female, or contralto, voices, between in tenor and soprano. In instrumental music it now signifies the tenor.
- n. An alto singer.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Literally, high: an element in terms relating to music and art: as, alto-ripieno, alto-rilievo.
- n. In music: Same as contralto.
- n. The instrument called in England the tenor violin, and by the Italians the viola.
- See all, adv., 1.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the highest adult male singing voice
- n. the pitch range of the lowest female voice
- adj. (of a musical instrument) second highest member of a group
- adj. of or being the lowest female voice
- n. a singer whose voice lies in the alto clef
- n. (of a musical instrument) the second highest instrument in a family of musical instruments
- adj. of or being the highest male voice; having a range above that of tenor
- n. the lowest female singing voice
Italian, from Latin altus, high; see al-2 in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian alto ("high") (Wiktionary)