American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adv. In soft tones, so as not to be overheard; in an undertone: "There were aspersions cast, sotto voce, but knees quickly folded into curtsies when introductions were in order” ( Barbara Lazear Ascher).
- adv. Music In very soft tones. Used chiefly as a direction.
- adj. of speech, of a voice, etc In soft tones; quiet.
- adj. music soft (can be used of instruments other than the voice, such as pianos)
- adv. of speech, of a voice, etc (speaking) quietly
- adv. music (spoken or played) softly (can be used of instruments other than the voice, such as pianos)
- n. music A direction in a score that a passage in a piece should be played softly (or sung 'under the voice', when applied to vocal music).
GNU Webster's 1913
- (Mus.) With a restrained voice or moderate force; in an undertone.
- Spoken low or in an undertone.
- adv. in an undertone
- From Italian, literally "low voice". (Wiktionary)
- Italian : sotto, under + voce, voice. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
““I even went and called out round the Gentlemen’s,” he said sotto voce to me.”
“Mr Hornblower," said the voice — it was Eccles putting a world of exasperation into his sotto voce question — "cannot you keep your men quiet?”
“One of the men cheered sotto voce -- probably Case.”
“What Hornblower remembered most vividly of the interview that followed was Frere's first sotto voce whisper to Perceval — "He's safe" — which he overheard.”
“315 Certain parts should be recited aloud (jahr) and others sotto voce (with mussitation = Khafi).”
“I wonder if there was ever such a conspiracy in the history of war: two generals intent on scuppering their own army, confabulating sotto voce with an agent from the enemy, while their commanders waited impatiently out-side for the word that (with luck) would send them marching to ruin?”
“Mr. Latham asked me to put this into your hands," Mr. Trevelyan explained sotto voce as he slipped the baronet a letter.”
“Partisan political jockeying didn’t help matters, as Democrats in Washington blamed any and all problems on President Dwight Eisenhower’s incompetence while Republicans spoke sotto voce of a mysterious, Democrat-fueled “black market” that was siphoning off valuable supplies.”
“I called the torrent of self-protective leaks by CIA and FBI sotto voce spokesmen “a misdirection play,” and defined this as a move by an adept offensive lineman: “He blocks his man toward the center; as the defender pushes back hard, the misdirecting lineman gives way, seemingly overcome by the countercharge—as his running back scoots through the hole near the center left by the defender.””
These user-created lists contain the word ‘sotto voce’.
No definite conception of these words.
Foreign words and phrases that are perfectly acceptable to use in formal English writing, but still maintain the aura of foreignness. They do not enjoy full citizenship, but remain "alien residents...
words that evoke magic, mystery, mayhem, magnificence or anything else that glimmers in the grass
My Favorite Words
A somewhat discriminatory list of words and phrases collected for their euphonic or arcane appeal, interesting etymology, or concise definition of an otherwise unnamed phenomenon or concept.
A list of foreign words and phrases in English Language
Words gathered while reading Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth.
Looking for tweets for sotto voce.