- the range of a low female voice between mezzo-soprano and tenor, usually from about the first F below middle C to the second F above; alto
- a voice or singer with such a range
- a part for such a voice
Origin of contraltoIt: see contra- and amp; alto
nounpl. con·tral·tos Music
- The lowest female voice or voice part, intermediate in range between soprano and tenor.
- A woman having a contralto voice.
Origin of contraltoItalian : contra-, below (from Latin contra-, contra-) + alto, alto; see alto.
(plural contraltos or contralti)
- (music) The lowest female voice or voice part, falling between tenor and mezzo-soprano. The terms contralto and alto refer to a similar musical pitch, but among singers, the term contralto is reserved for female singers; the equivalent male form is counter-tenor. Originally the contratenor altus was a high countermelody sung against the tenor or main melody.
Contraction of contratenor alto, from Latin contratenor altus.