- the range of the lowest female voice or the highest male voice; specif.,
- a voice or singer with such a range
- an instrument with a similar range within its family, as an alto saxophone
- a part for such a voice or instrument
- in four-part harmony, the second highest part
Origin: Italian ; from Classical Latin altus, high: see altitude
Origin: ; from Classical Latin altus, high
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun pl. al·tos
- A low female singing voice; a contralto.
- A countertenor.
- a. The range between soprano and tenor.b. A singer whose voice lies within this range.c. An instrument that sounds within this range.d. Abbr. A A vocal or instrumental part written in this range.
Origin: Italian, from Latin altus, high; see al-2 in Indo-European roots.
alto - Computer Definition
(1) A Web-based e-mail client from AOL that organizes incoming messages into attractive folders. Launched in beta in 2012, Alto works with AOL mail as well as other e-mail accounts.
(2) The desktop computer from Xerox that pioneered the mouse/icon/desktop environment. Developed at PARC, it was the progenitor of Xerox's Star and Apple's Lisa and Mac. Designed in 1973 with 128K RAM, 608x808 screen, 2.5MB removable hard disk and built-in Ethernet. About 1,000 Altos were in use by 1979.
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alto - Cultural Definition
The lowest range of the female singing voice, also called contralto. (Compare mezzo soprano and soprano.)