alla breve

1 of 2


: the sign marking a piece or passage to be played alla breve
also : a passage so marked

Illustration of alla breve

Illustration of alla breve

alla breve

2 of 2

adverb or adjective

: in duple or quadruple time with the beat represented by the half note

Word History



Italian, literally, according to the breve

First Known Use


circa 1731, in the meaning defined above

Adverb Or Adjective

1740, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of alla breve was circa 1731

Dictionary Entries Near alla breve

Cite this Entry

“Alla breve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

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