Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Balanced, rhythmic flow, as of poetry or oratory.
  • noun The measure or beat of movement, as in dancing or marching.
  • noun A falling inflection of the voice, as at the end of a sentence.
  • noun General inflection or modulation of the voice.
  • noun Music A progression of chords moving to a harmonic close, point of rest, or sense of resolution.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A fall; a decline; a state of falling or sinking.
  • noun A fall of the voice in reading or speaking, as at the end of a sentence; also, the falling of the voice in the general modulation of tones in reciting.
  • noun A regular and agreeable succession of measured sounds or movements; rhythmic flow, as the general modulation of the voice in reading or speaking, or of natural sounds.
  • noun Specifically In music: A harmonic formula or sequence of chords that expresses conclusion, finality, repose, occurring at the end of a phrase or period, and involving a clear enunciation of the tonality or key in which a piece is written. See phrases below.
  • noun The concluding part of a melody or harmony, or the concluding part of a metrical line or verse: as, the plaintive cadence of a song. Also called a fall.
  • noun Especially, in France, a trill or other embellishment used as part of an ending, or as a means of return to a principal theme. Compare cadenza.
  • noun Measure or beat of any rhythmical movement, such as dancing or marching.
  • noun In the manège, an equal measure or proportion observed by a horse in all his motions.
  • noun In heraldry, descent; a device upon the escutcheon by which the descent of each member of a family is shown.
  • noun Proportion.
  • noun the chord of the dominant followed by that of the tonic; also, the chord of the dominant seventh followed by that of the tonic. These two forms of the perfect cadence were in ancient church modes called authentic, in distinction from the plagal cadence. An example of each form in C major is here given. The end of a piece should properly be a complete cadence, incomplete and interrupted cadences being suitably only as temporary endings for phrases or periods in the midst of a piece.
  • noun a cadence formed by a chord foreign to that which was expected, thus evading the close and deceiving expectation. Thus, in the example, the second chord has A in the bass instead of C, which is naturally expected. Also called suspended cadence.
  • To regulate by musical measure: as, well-cadenced music.
  • noun The modulation or manner of utterance peculiar to a particular locality or language.
  • noun In music, a trill-like ornament, the reverse of the battement (which see).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To regulate by musical measure.
  • noun obsolete The act or state of declining or sinking.
  • noun A fall of the voice in reading or speaking, especially at the end of a sentence.
  • noun A rhythmical modulation of the voice or of any sound.
  • noun Rhythmical flow of language, in prose or verse.
  • noun (Her.) See Cadency.
  • noun (Man.) Harmony and proportion in motions, as of a well-managed horse.
  • noun (Mil.) A uniform time and place in marching.
  • noun The close or fall of a strain; the point of rest, commonly reached by the immediate succession of the tonic to the dominant chord.
  • noun A cadenza, or closing embellishment; a pause before the end of a strain, which the performer may fill with a flight of fancy.
  • noun (Mus.) See under Imperfect.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Balanced, rhythmic flow.
  • noun The measure or beat of movement.
  • noun The general inflection or modulation of the voice.
  • noun music A progression of at least two chords which conclude a piece of music, section or musical phrases within it. Sometimes referred to analogously as musical punctuation.
  • noun speech A fall in inflection of a speaker’s voice, such as at the end of a sentence.
  • noun dance A dance move which ends a phrase.
  • noun fencing The rhythm and sequence of a series of actions.
  • noun running The number of steps per minute.
  • noun cycling The number of revolutions per minute of the cranks or pedals of a bicycle.
  • noun military A chant that is sung by military personnel while running or marching; a jody call.
  • verb To give a cadence to.
  • verb To give structure to.

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

  • noun the close of a musical section
  • noun (prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse
  • noun a recurrent rhythmical series

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French *cadence, from Old Italian cadenza, from Vulgar Latin *cadentia, a falling, from Latin cadēns, cadent-, present participle of cadere, to fall; see kad- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French cadence, from Italian cadenza, from Latin cadentia.

Examples

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