contralto

[kuhn-tral-toh] Music.
noun, plural contraltos.
1.
the lowest female voice or voice part, intermediate between soprano and tenor.
2.
the alto, or highest male voice or voice part.
3.
a singer with a contralto voice.
adjective
4.
pertaining to the contralto voice or its compass.

Origin:
1720–30; < Italian, equivalent to contr(a) contra-2 + alto alto

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World English Dictionary
contralto (kənˈtræltəʊ, -ˈtrɑːl-)
 
n , pl -tos, -ti
1.  In the context of a choir often shortened to: alto the lowest female voice, usually having a range of approximately from F a fifth below middle C to D a ninth above it
2.  a singer with such a voice
 
adj
3.  of or denoting a contralto: the contralto part
 
[C18: from Italian; see contra-, alto]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

contralto
1730, from contra- + alto. The part next above the alto.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
contralto [(kuhn-tral-toh)]

The lowest range of the female singing voice; alto.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Her voice is a muscular contralto that she uses the way a jazz singer does, creating hypnotic musical lines.
Her accent is strongly foreign and her voice is a contralto.
It is rare to find a contralto singer, and true contralto roles are few and far between.
He had appeared professionally as a singer and depending on location and dress sang either baritone or contralto.
Synonyms
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