sotto voce

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See also: sottovoce

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Italian, literally "low voice".

Adjective[edit]

sotto voce (not comparable)

  1. (of speech, of a voice, etc) In soft tones; quiet.
  2. (music) soft (can be used of instruments other than the voice, such as pianos)

Quotations[edit]

  • 1913, D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, chapter 5
    Then a man called for her, and began to make coarse jokes. But Mr. Pappleworth nodded his head in the direction of the boy, and the talk went on sotto voce.
  • 1985Gary Russell, Divided Loyalties, p 38
    'Hello?' she shouted, but still her voice came out barely louder than a sotto voce whisper.

Synonyms[edit]

  • (music: soft): sotto (informal)

Adverb[edit]

sotto voce (not comparable)

  1. (of speech, of a voice, etc) (speaking) quietly
  2. (music) (spoken or played) softly (can be used of instruments other than the voice, such as pianos)

Synonyms[edit]

  • (music: softly): sotto (informal)

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

sotto voce (plural sotto voci)

  1. (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).