a singer castrated as a boy to preserve the soprano or contralto range of his voice, esp. in 16th-18th cent. Italy
Origin of castratoItalian ; from Classical Latin castratus: see castrate
nounpl. ca·stra·ti or ca·stra·tos
A male singer castrated before puberty so as to retain a soprano or alto voice.
Origin of castratoItalian, from Latin castratus, past participle of castrare, to castrate; see castrate.
(plural castratos or castrati)
- (literally) Castrated; especially castrated prepubescently.
- Having, using or containing the voice of a castrato (noun).
- Originally composed for a castrato.
- Nowadays, either women or countertenors take the castrato roles.