Definition of baritone in English:



  • 1An adult male singing voice between tenor and bass.

    ‘he sang in a rich baritone’
    • ‘With his rich baritone and powerful stage presence, Davis made his mark as an actor, playwright, and spoken-word artist over a distinguished career that lasted nearly 60 years.’
    • ‘Or you could board the 165 along Guy and be rattled in your boots by Jacques Roy's big, booming baritone as he sings show tunes in your ear.’
    • ‘It was male, a baritone that held a sense of authority.’
    • ‘Sitting on a low stool and cradling his beloved guitar he sang in a rich baritone a mixture of haunting ballads and cheery folk songs.’
    • ‘The child's sound had matured into a full, rich baritone.’
    • ‘From down the alley they could hear the high-pitched sound of a woman's voice, followed by the rich baritone of man.’
    • ‘On Sings Pajo introduced his shaky baritone to the world along with a new-found talent for writing great rootsy folk.’
    • ‘Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise rose up from the congregation, filling the church with strong English baritones and contraltos.’
    • ‘Crey's voice was a deep baritone that struck her as slightly out of place coming from such a slender build of a man, but what shocked her more was the bow of his head in deference that accompanied his words.’
    • ‘His bass baritone is rich and meaty, just like his heart.’
    • ‘We sat there mesmerized by the ringing baritone of his inspired voice, coming, as if from the hollows of a cave from some part of a high mountain range, where civilization could never reach or discover.’
    • ‘His bass baritone voice has made him a popular figure in churches and concert halls around the district, he has a house in Church Street and has now notched up 40 years in business.’
    • ‘His voice, a deep baritone of startling beauty, awakened the girl from her lapse.’
    • ‘The group of unaccompanied voices comprises bass, baritone, tenor, mezzo-soprano and soprano.’
    • ‘‘I can't love you any more,’ I sang in my very best imitation of Bebe Daniels, which isn't very good but then a bass baritone can only do so much in the way of 1940s popular soprano.’
    • ‘A voice spoke from behind him, a deep and rich baritone which made him jump slightly.’
    • ‘The only parallel is DeRosa's soft voice, falling somewhere between a baritone and a tenor.’
    • ‘My top action hero this week is Dwayne Croft, who sings baritone for the Metropolitan Opera.’
    • ‘Ian Storey is a wonderfully swaggering Pinkerton and his powerful baritone proves the perfect counterpoint to Butterfly's swooning.’
    • ‘Hawley's style, his sturdy baritone singing songs that combine hints of country with pre-rock pop and orchestral flourishes overlaid with healthy dollop of reverb, has a robust appeal.’
    resonant, sonorous, ringing, resounding, reverberating, reverberative, reverberant, reverberatory, carrying, thundering, thunderous, rumbling, roaring
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A singer with a baritone voice.
      ‘he starred as a baritone’
      • ‘Baker responds with two stunning performances, even though I have to overcome my resentment that she's snatched a solo cantata usually taken by baritones and basses.’
      • ‘They also allowed the tenor roles of Homonay and Zsupán to be sung by a baritone and a bass-baritone, respectively.’
      • ‘The all-male line-up is two countertenors, one tenor, two baritones, and one bass.’
      • ‘Soprano Raquel Lojendio is the lovely soloist in five of the songs; together, she and the baritone also sing a lullaby for the baby Jesus.’
      • ‘Whatever else might ail the music industry, the market is booming in bass baritones.’
      • ‘In this scene, Edgardo and Enrico, both hell-bent on revenge, breathe fire at each other, and Donizetti responds with an appropriately militant duet for tenor and baritone.’
      • ‘Devoted to music by American composers, it included songs by John Alden Carpenter and Charles Ives sung by the American baritone Victor Prahl with Messiaen at the piano.’
      • ‘Not only were we treated to the MMDG Music Ensemble, but live vocals from a soprano, baritone, alto and tenor.’
      • ‘In an accompanying audio track, a baritone slowly sings the children's lullaby that lent its title to the exhibition.’
      • ‘The Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel sang three of Hans Sachs' monologues with a depth of dramatic penetration that was awesome.’
      • ‘There are eight sopranos, four mezzos, one counter-tenor, three tenors, seven baritones, and two basses.’
      • ‘Bass baritone Donnie Ray Albert imbued each of the five sections with intense, dramatic power.’
      • ‘She is joined by soprano Anny Felbermayer, baritones Josef Metternich and Harald Pröglhöpf, tenor Murray Dickie, and bass Walter Berry.’
      • ‘This is the first time I've heard of a baritone singing it.’
      • ‘Opera singer Cecilia Bartoli won female artist of the year, with best male artist going to the bass baritone Bryn Terfel.’
      • ‘For starters, it isn't often that we hear Falstaff, usually assigned to veteran baritones, sung by a major youthful voice in its prime.’
      • ‘Young baritone Andrew Schroeder has sung the title role in Brussels and New York City, and it sounds like he owns it.’
      • ‘That, if you have - if taking a group of people who are singing - an average cross-section of that population - you're going to find sopranos, altos, mezzos, tenors, baritones, and basses.’
      • ‘Your teachers were all baritones and even your tenor voice has a distinct baritonal touch to it…’
      • ‘Technically, Bruce is known as a bass baritone but within that he has been able to sing a variety of roles.’
    2. 1.2A part written for a baritone voice.
  • 2[usually as modifier] An instrument that is second lowest in pitch in its family.

    ‘a baritone sax’
    • ‘In most cases, each song is given melodic depth by MacKaye's baritone guitar and Farina's stripped-kit drumming.’
    • ‘The various musicians - guitars, drums, recorder, baritone sax, violin - all started playing at once.’
    • ‘With a sudden explosion of baritone sax, trumpet, and guitar - plus a boxful of percussion toys - the whole song is one ecstatic, extended crescendo.’
    • ‘Low instruments such as tuba and baritone horn make a sonic imagining of the hippo.’
    • ‘Michael, who you may know from his great band La Laque, sings and plays baritone ukulele.’
    • ‘Paul Watson, part of Sparklehorse's touring band, turns up here playing coronet (and baritone guitar on the album's final song).’
    • ‘Everything is haunting, from Desmond Shea's baleful trumpet to Chris Mulhauser's baritone guitar, and low frequencies are well catered for.’
    • ‘The baritone bassoon extended between the bassoon and the contra, and there is even a subcontra bassoon one octave lower than the contra bassoon in exceptionally rare captivity, possibly with a lamp shade.’
    • ‘She's a strange one alright, a former New York street artist who discovered the baritone ukelele, remembered her old violin lessons, and cut an album, No Guts, No Gravy.’
    • ‘Ulises Bella is the band's most multi-talented addition, on tenor and baritone sax, piano, requinto harucho, guitar, bass, and clarinet.’
    • ‘As you might expect there's a droning baritone banjo, playing drawn out notes over a deeper, more stable cello.’
    • ‘Mr Barnes is one of England's leading baritone, alto and tenor saxophone players.’
    • ‘Rick Turner builds great instruments; he makes all of the weird stuff I love, including an electric mandocello and baritone 12-string.’
    • ‘The title track - a spacey song - features Matthews alone on electric guitar, while on the sensational ‘Stay Or Leave,’ he experiments with a baritone guitar.’
    • ‘When it came to the clarinet family, one must admit that the basset horn does sound a trifle canine, but as with flutes and saxophones, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone or bass always flowed on in logical order.’
    • ‘Bob Efford offers an impressive baritone sax solo, and if you were curious, Joe Sample's the guy at the organ.’
    1. 2.1A brass instrument similar to a euphonium, sounding in B flat and used in brass bands.
      • ‘Ms Laitman's Holocaust, 1944 comprises five songs written for baritone and double bass.’
      • ‘In orchestras, they tell viola jokes; in band, they tell baritone jokes.’
      • ‘Replaying it, slight flattening of pitch occurs during the Offertoire following the baritone solo, where chorus high notes have minimum instrumental support lower down.’
      • ‘Accompanying them were the Bushwack Horns - a four-piece horn section of trumpet, trombone, baritone and alto sax, which played on the band's latest disc Palace Of Gold.’
      • ‘She also plays baritone for Swindon Brass band and has been sponsored by fellow members and other local musicians.’
      • ‘Roseman shares solo space with the saxophones of Peter Apfelbaum and Chris Potter among others; baritone, flute and trumpet trace languorous melodies, shadow intricate basslines or fire off precise stabs.’
      • ‘Surman explores a Sonny Rollins-like calypso on baritone and English-sounding brass fanfares turning into southern-European folk-dances on soprano sax.’
      • ‘John joined the band in 1957 as conductor and served in that role and on the euphonium, baritone and bass until ill health forced his retirement in 2000.’
      • ‘Their trips ranged from traveling in the back of a convertible and staying in a nice hotel to long, hot bus rides and being lodged in a stockade, said Sandee McClammy, a baritone player from Mesquite, Texas.’
      • ‘I had a reason to expect much from this work, based on other compositions of his, especially his outstanding Edgar Allan Poe song cycle for baritone and piano Lenoriana.’
      • ‘He asked Auden to write ‘a very quiet little lyric’, which he set for baritone and three clarinets.’
      • ‘‘I played the baritone back in Glendale,’ I told him.’


Early 17th century: from Italian baritono, from Greek barutonos, from barus heavy + tonos (see tone).