The first `o’ in `sotto’ is like the `o’ in `hot’, `got’, and `pot’; the second is like the `o’ in `go’, `so’, and `no’. The `o’ in `voce’ is pronounced like the second `o’ in `sotto’. The `c’ that follows is like the `ch’ in `child’ and `chips’; the final `e’ is like the `i’ in `bit’, `pit’, and `hit’. The main stress is on the first syllable of `voce’. The word comes from Italian; `sotto’ means `under’ and `voce’ means `voice’.
When you say something `sotto voce’, you say it in a soft voice. Whatever you say is spoken in a low volume; you speak softly out of the corner of your mouth, so that you are not overheard by anyone. The word is considered literary, and is mostly used in formal contexts.
Example: During the principal’s speech, several students made snide remarks sotto voce.