Definitions

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

  • n. The highest singing voice of a woman or young boy.
  • n. A singer having such a voice.
  • n. The tonal range characteristic of a soprano.
  • n. An instrument that sounds within this range.
  • n. A vocal or instrumental part written within this range.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Musical part or section higher in pitch than alto and other sections.
  • n. Person or instrument that performs the soprano part.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The treble; the highest vocal register; the highest kind of female or boy's voice; the upper part in harmony for mixed voices.
  • n. A singer, commonly a woman, with a treble voice.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In music, the highest variety of the female voice; treble.
  • n. A singer with such a voice.
  • n. A voice-part for or sung by such a voice.
  • Pertaining to the soprano: as, soprano music: a soprano voice; the soprano compass.

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

  • n. the pitch range of the highest female voice
  • n. the highest female voice; the voice of a boy before puberty
  • adj. having or denoting a high range
  • n. a female singer

Etymologies

Italian, from sopra, above, from Latin suprā; see uper in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian, from Latin superanus, adjective from preposition super ("la"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "The word soprano comes from the Italian 'sopra' meaning above," explains Elin, who called the CD Soprano World.

    WalesOnline - Home

  • The prima donna soprano is the Signora de Ricci; and the second donna is called

    Life in Mexico, During a Residence of Two Years in That Country

  • Anne Sofie von Otter's mezzo-soprano is perhaps a touch ethereal for Dido, but she didn't try and compete with the orchestra, instead confidently drawing the drama to her, with a stage presence and an unfailingly intelligent musicality that anchored the human dimension of Part II.

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • The statement quoted one of the singer-protesters, Deborah Fink, whom it identified as a soprano, describing the group's first disruption as "intricately interwoven" with the Israel Philharmonic's first piece, Webern's Passacaglia.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Her soprano is a shade light, but she negotiates every stylistic variation with fire and grace.

    Three Nights At The Opera

  • I recall the soprano in Ann Patchett's Bel Canto making the comment that she never allowed people to see/hear her practice.

    Archive 2008-09-01

  • Kim Jong-il, the unpredictable paranoid dear leader of a country which U.S. officials have dubbed the soprano state because of its involvement in organized crime.

    CNN Transcript Feb 14, 2007

  • The singing part of the audition went well, she said I had a beautiful voice and made me a second soprano, which is strange because Ive been an alto my whole life, but whatever.

    skipperjbk8: hey pook...I found a Pierre!!

  • My soprano is a young married woman and is temporarily indisposed.

    The song of the lark

  • For example, in playing a hymn-tune we describe (on the keyboard) the four separate melodies known as the soprano, alto, tenor and bass voices.

    Lessons in Music Form A Manual of Analysis of All the Structural Factors and Designs Employed in Musical Composition

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