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al·​ter·​na·​ti·​vo (ˌ)äl-ˌter-nə-ˈtē-(ˌ)vō How to pronounce alternativo (audio)
: a musical middle section (such as a trio) that is followed by a repetition of the preceding section especially in an 18th-century dance movement (such as a minuet)


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al·​ter·​na·​ti·​vo (ˌ)äl-ˌter-nə-ˈtē-(ˌ)vō How to pronounce alternativo (audio)
: alternately
used as a direction in music to repeat a movement's first section (such as a minuet) following its second section (such as a trio)

Word History



Italian, alternative, from Medieval Latin alternativus

First Known Use


circa 1887, in the meaning defined above


circa 1823, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of alternativo was circa 1823

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Dictionary Entries Near alternativo

Cite this Entry

“Alternativo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

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