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[li-bret-oh] /lɪˈbrɛt oʊ/
noun, plural librettos, libretti
[li-bret-ee] /lɪˈbrɛt i/ (Show IPA)
the text or words of an opera or similar extended musical composition.
a book or booklet containing such a text.
1735-45; < Italian, diminutive of libro book < Latin liber; see -et Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for libretti


noun (pl) -tos, -ti (-tiː)
a text written for and set to music in an opera, etc
Word Origin
C18: from Italian, diminutive of libro book
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for libretti



(plural libretti), 1742, from Italian libretto, diminutive of libro "book," from Latin liber (genitive libri), see library. Related: Librettist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for libretti


text of an opera, operetta, or other kind of musical theatre. It is also used, less commonly, for a musical work not intended for the stage. A libretto may be in verse or in prose; it may be specially designed for a particular composer, or it may provide raw material for several; it may be wholly original or an adaptation of an existing play or novel.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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