from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Music The prolongation of a tone, chord, or rest beyond its indicated time value.
- n. Music The sign indicating this prolongation.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The holding of a note or rest for longer than its usual duration; also the notation of such a prolongation, usually represented as a dot with a semi-circle above it, written above the prolonged note or rest.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In music:
- n. A pause or break; especially, in a concerto, a pause in the accompaniment to give room for an extended cadenza by the soloist
- n. A hold or pause upon a tone or chord, the length being discretionary with the performer or conductor.
- n. The sign or placed over or under a note or even a bar to indicate such a hold or pause. See hold.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a musical notation (over a note or chord or rest) that indicates it is to be prolonged by an unspecified amount
- n. (music) a prolongation of unspecified length on a note or chord or rest
Italian, from feminine past participle of fermare, to stop, from Latin firmāre, to make firm, from firmus, firm.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian fermata, from fermare ("to stop"). (Wiktionary)