Meaning of staccato


Staccato is a musical term for notes that are played quickly and sharply. It can also refer to anything characterized by similar beats, such as the staccato clacking of a woman’s high heels on a tile floor.

There is nothing quite so pleasant as lying in bed on a Saturday morning listening to the staccato tapping of rain on the roof, knowing that everything you had planned will now be canceled. Other staccato sounds are not so pleasant — like your neighbor learning to play the drums or a jack hammer blaring right outside your window.

Definitions of staccato
  1. adverb

    separating the notes; in music

    “play this
    staccato, please”
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    connecting the notes; in music

  2. adjective

    (music) marked by or composed of disconnected parts or sounds; cut short crisply

    staccato applause”
    staccato command”
    staccato notes”


    abrupt, disconnected

    marked by sudden changes in subject and sharp transitions
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    legato, smooth

    (music) without breaks between notes; smooth and connected

Word Family

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