from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A public ball, typically a masquerade, popular in the 18th century.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A favorite Italian public entertainment, consisting of music and dancing, -- held generally on fast eves.
  • n. An arrangement or abridgment of a piece from the full score.
  • intransitive v. To hold ridottos.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To frequent or hold ridottos.
  • n. A house or hall of public entertainment.
  • n. A company of persons met together for amusement; a social assembly.
  • n. A public entertainment devoted to music and dancing; a dancing-party, often in masquerade.
  • n. In music, an arrangement or reduction of a piece from the full score.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Italian ridotto ("foyer").


  • There was what they called a ridotto el fresco at Vauxhall, (1066) for which one paid half-a-guinea, though, except some thousand more lamps and a covered passage all round the garden, which took off from the gardenhood, there was nothing better than on a common night.

    The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 3

  • "No theatre to-night," she said to me; "let us go to the 'ridotto', to lose or double our money."

    The Complete Memoirs of Jacques Casanova

  • After I had taken care of all the gold she had won, I gave her my arm, and we left the 'ridotto', but remarking that a few inquisitive persons were following us, I took a gondola which landed us according to my instructions.

    The Complete Memoirs of Jacques Casanova

  • At the end of the year 1774 the Great Council promulgated a law forbidding all games of chance, the first effect of which was to close the 'ridotto'.

    The Complete Memoirs of Jacques Casanova

  • I was in a perspiration, and the weather was cold; I threw myself into a gondola, and in order not to get chilled I landed at the 'ridotto'.

    The Complete Memoirs of Jacques Casanova

  • 'ridotto', which at that time was opened on St. St.phen's Day.

    Memoirs of Casanova — Volume 08: Convent Affairs

  • 'ridotto', where she amused herself by looking at all the ladies of the nobility who alone had the right to walk about without masks.

    The Complete Memoirs of Jacques Casanova

  • In 1585 Lassus was again in Italy; the dedication of his volume of five-part madrigals printed in Nuremberg in that year 1585c, reissued in Venice in 1587 as the Libro quinto is to the great Veronese patron Mario Bevilacqua, whose ridotto the composer may have visited in 1582.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • Mme. de Bargeton went to a ridotto given to the town by a regiment, and fell in love with an officer of a good family, a sub-lieutenant, to whom the crafty Napoleon had given a glimpse of the baton of a Marshal of France.

    Two Poets

  • The word “ridotto” is properly what we once signified by the word “reduit,” intrenchment; but “reduit” having sunk into a term of contempt among us, our editors translated

    A Philosophical Dictionary


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  • Central, Umbria. I think it's related to the notion of disability. For instance, the public buses have a sign in them next the big space that reads: Questo posto e' riservato alle persone a ridotta capacita' motoraria.

    Hence un ridotto is a person 'of reduced capacity', in this pejorative sense mental capacity. I also heard a girl from Ischia use it in this sense - "Ma dai, non fare il ridotto per carita'" - to a person who was doing something stupid.

    April 10, 2008

  • Really? In which part of Italy?

    April 10, 2008

  • Sometimes used as a slang word for idiot in Italian.

    April 10, 2008

  • "'She has been driving about the countryside, dining with people as far as twenty miles away... frequently going to balls and ridottos in Portsmouth...'"

    --P. O'Brian, The Commodore, 43

    March 16, 2008