Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A male singer castrated before puberty so as to retain a soprano or alto voice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A male who has been castrated, especially a male whose testicles have been removed before puberty in order to retain his boyish voice.
  • n. A male soprano or alto voice produced by castration of the treble singer before puberty, intended to conserve his voice; the singer.
  • adj. Castrated; especially castrated prepubescently.
  • adj. Having, using or containing the voice of a castrato (noun).
  • adj. Originally composed for a castrato.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A male person castrated for the purpose of improving his voice for singing; an artificial, or male, soprano.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A male person emasculated during childhood for the purpose of preventing the change of voice which naturally occurs at puberty; an artificial or male soprano.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a male singer who was castrated before puberty and retains a soprano or alto voice

Etymologies

Italian, from Latin castrātus, past participle of castrāre, to castrate; see castrate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian castrato, from Latin castrō ("to castrate"), likely from caedō ("to cut"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • plural: castrati

    April 20, 2011

  • Have you got the balls to stand in front of an audience and be an opera superstar? Great, then let us snatch them away from you using hot water, manual manipulation, sharp scissors and copious amounts of cheap alcohol. Wow, will you hit those high notes then! Opera fans the world over will adore you, and groupies will wear medallions bearing your portrait.

    If you're too young to agree to the operation, let your family do it for you. After all, there are financial rewards for those who tackle this difficult decision. They won't even have to admit to having you castrated deliberately – they can always come up with a medical alibi (a riding accident, accidental blow, animal bite).

    There's no need to worry about the effects that a lack of hair and an obese, deformed body will have on your chances of having a companion for life. Great fame and fortune will always illuminate your inner beauty to others.

    July 8, 2008