Castrato



a male singer, especially in the 18th century, castrated before puberty to prevent his soprano or contralto voice range from changing.
Contemporary Examples

The Daily Pic: In his portrait of a castrato, Andrea Sacchi let a well-hung Apollo make up for the singer’s loss.
NSFW, in 1641? Blake Gopnik September 15, 2013

In his portrait of a castrato, Andrea Sacchi let a well-hung Apollo make up for the singer’s loss.
The Best of 2013’s Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik Blake Gopnik December 25, 2013

He laughed, a high-pitched chirp that sounded like a castrato.
My Surreal Night With Michael Jackson Abby Ellin July 5, 2009

Historical Examples

One could not have a pretty actress to supper without causing a scandal, but such an invitation to a castrato makes nobody talk.
The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

This castrato had a fine voice, but his chief attraction was his beauty.
The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

I thought he was a ‘castrato’ who, as is the custom in Rome, performed all the parts of a prima donna.
The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

He laughed at people who said that a castrato could not procreate.
The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

The castrato whom they did engage was Carestini, who, though less celebrated, was at any rate a singularly artistic singer.
Handel Edward J. Dent

My mother advised me to continue to give myself out as a castrato, in the hope of being able to take me to Rome.
The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

My new visitor proved to be the first castrato of the theatre, who brought an invitation to dinner from Narici.
The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

noun (pl) -ti (-tɪ), -tos
(in 17th- and 18th-century opera) a male singer whose testicles were removed before puberty, allowing the retention of a soprano or alto voice
n.

1763, from Italian castrato, from Latin castratus (see castration).

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  • Castration-complex

    an unconscious fear of losing the genital organs, especially as punishment for oedipal feelings. noun (psychoanal) an unconscious fear of having one’s genitals removed, as a punishment for wishing to have sex with a parent castration complex n. In psychoanalytic theory, a child’s fear of injury to the genitals by the parent of the same […]

  • Castration

    to remove the testes of; emasculate; geld. to remove the ovaries of. Psychology. to render impotent, literally or metaphorically, by psychological means, especially by threatening a person’s masculinity or femininity. to deprive of strength, power, or efficiency; weaken: Without those ten new submarines, our navy will be castrated. a castrated person or animal. Contemporary Examples […]



  • Castrati

    a male singer, especially in the 18th century, castrated before puberty to prevent his soprano or contralto voice range from changing. Historical Examples This is the house of a great man, a chieftain; and we were told the name of the place is castrati. Albania E. F. Knight However, just as the sun was setting […]

  • Castrated

    to remove the testes of; emasculate; geld. to remove the ovaries of. Psychology. to render impotent, literally or metaphorically, by psychological means, especially by threatening a person’s masculinity or femininity. to deprive of strength, power, or efficiency; weaken: Without those ten new submarines, our navy will be castrated. a castrated person or animal. Contemporary Examples […]



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