sotto voce

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See also: sottovoce

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Italian sotto voce (literally under [the] voice).

Pronunciation[edit]

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Wikipedia
  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌsɒtəʊ ˈvəʊtʃeɪ/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌsɑtoʊ ˈvoʊtʃi/

Adjective[edit]

sotto voce (not comparable)

  1. (of speech, of a voice, etc) In soft tones; quiet.
    • 1913, w:D. H. Lawrence, chapter 5, in Sons and Lovers:
      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.
    • 1985, Gary Russell, Divided Loyalties, page 38:
      ‘Hello?’ she shouted, but still her voice came out barely louder than a sotto voce whisper.
  2. (music) Soft (can be used of instruments other than the voice, such as pianos)

Synonyms[edit]

  • (music): sotto (informal)

Adverb[edit]

sotto voce (not comparable)

  1. (of speech, of a voice, etc) Speaking quietly.
    Emily Brontë, "Jane Eyre", 1847: "I am not your dear; I cannot lie down. Send me to school soon, Mrs. Reed, for I hate to live here."
    "I will indeed send her to school soon," murmured Mrs. Reed sotto voce; and gathering up her work, she abruptly quitted the apartment.
  2. (music) Sung or played softly (can be used of instruments other than the voice, such as pianos)

Synonyms[edit]

  • (music): 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 in a low voice, when applied to vocal music.

Italian[edit]

Adverb[edit]

sotto voce

  1. Alternative form of sottovoce