Italian overture


Definition of Italian overture

: an overture in three movements to an 18th-century Italian opera or oratorio The Italian overture was to endure in popularity until the end of the eighteenth century and be paramount in the development of the classical symphony.— Jean Grundy Fanelli, Opera for Everyone, 2004

called also sinfonia

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of Italian overture

1779, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Italian overture

Time Traveler for Italian overture

Time Traveler

The first known use of Italian overture was in 1779

See more words from the same year

Statistics for Italian overture

Cite this Entry

“Italian overture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

Comments on Italian overture

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!