Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

recitative

play
noun rec·i·ta·tive \ˌre-sə-tə-ˈtēv, ˌres-tə-\

Simple Definition of recitative

  • music : a passage in vocal music (such as an opera) in which the words are sung in a way that resembles speech

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of recitative

  1. 1 :  a rhythmically free vocal style that imitates the natural inflections of speech and that is used for dialogue and narrative in operas and oratorios; also :  a passage to be delivered in this style

  2. 2 :  recitation 2

recitative adjective

Examples of recitative in a sentence

  1. the second recitative of Act II

  2. The opera made use of recitative.



Origin of recitative

Italian recitativo, from recitare to recite, from Latin


First Known Use: 1656


Learn More about recitative


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up recitative? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to eat gluttonously or ravenously

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

angry oily maudlin prompt
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ