Definition of spinto in US English:



  • 1A lyric soprano or tenor voice of powerful dramatic quality.

    as modifier ‘her spinto voice has kept her at the top’
    • ‘Essentially a lyric soprano with coloratura (and later spinto) capabilities, she was at home in both Mozart and Richard Strauss, as well as in bel canto and verismo.’
    • ‘Stella Roman, an operatic soprano, performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York during the 1940s and 1950s, specializing in Italian opera spinto roles.’
    • ‘Funny, but to say a voice is a true ‘spinto,’ using the Italian word, is a great compliment, while to say it is ‘pushed’ in plain English is a criticism.’’
    • ‘She became famous for such spinto roles as Norma, Tosca, Lucia, and Violetta, in which she commanded an exceptional range of colours and dynamics.’
    • ‘And if the Met was hoping to find spinto sopranos for the heavier Verdi and Puccini roles that go begging nowadays, the search goes on.’
    1. 1.1 A singer with a spinto voice.
      • ‘Unlike her husband, who Dioneo suggests is a villain disguised as a marquis, Griselda is not simply a noblewoman in a pauper's clothing; she is, following the logic of the same gloss, a divino spinto.’


1950s: Italian, literally ‘pushed’, past participle of spingere ‘push’.