Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A short aria that has a repetitive rhythm and a simple style.
  • n. The final section of an aria or duet marked by a quick uniform rhythm.
  • n. Something likened to such a short aria or a final section of a piece: "And a chronic chorus of cascades and birds/Cuts loose in a wild cabaletta” ( W.H. Auden).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A short, rhythmically repetitive aria.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A song in rondo form, with variations, often having an accompaniment in triplet rhythm, intended to imitate the footfalls of a cantering horse.

Etymologies

Italian, alteration of coboletta, stanza, diminutive of cobola, cobla, from Old Provençal cobla, from Latin cōpula, link.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
An Italian variant of coboletta, diminutive of cobola ("stanza, couplet"), from Old Provençal cobla, from Latin copula. (Wiktionary)

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