Definitions

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

  • n. A style used in opera and oratorio, similar to but more melodic than recitative.
  • n. A passage rendered in this style.
  • n. A short vocal solo having the melodic style but not the form of an aria.
  • adv. In a melodic style like that of an aria. Used chiefly as a direction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A musical style, in opera and oratorio, that is more melodic than recitative, but less so than aria

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. In the smooth and melodious style of an air; ariose.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In music, like an air, as contradistinguished from recitative.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (music) a short recitative that is melodic but is not an aria

Etymologies

Italian, from aria, aria; see aria.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Italian (Wiktionary)

Examples

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