Definition of ritornello
plural ritornelliplay \-ˈne-(ˌ)lē\ or ritornellos
1 a : a short recurrent instrumental passage in a vocal composition b : an instrumental interlude in early opera
2 : a tutti passage in a concerto or rondo refrain
Origin of ritornello
Italian, diminutive of ritorno return, from ritornare to return, from ri- re- + tornare to turn, from Latin, to turn on a lathe — more at turn
First Known Use: 1675
Learn More about ritornello
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about "ritornello"
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up ritornello? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).