arpeggio

noun

ar·​peg·​gio är-ˈpe-jē-ˌō How to pronounce arpeggio (audio)
-ˈpe-jō
plural arpeggios
1
: production of the tones of a chord in succession and not simultaneously
2
: a chord played in arpeggio

Examples of arpeggio in a Sentence

The guitarist warmed up with a few simple arpeggios.
Recent Examples on the Web The way Greenwood’s arpeggios bend upward at the end of every line in the first half evokes the intoxication of a lover’s touch; Skinner’s drumming feels more like the fluttering of cilia. Pitchfork, 4 Dec. 2023 Textures and gestures, such as upward glissandos or pizzicato arpeggios are similarly indicated. Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Nov. 2023 Those études, from the early 1990s, may be aspirational in technique, but they are assured in craft: portals into Glass’s world of whirling arpeggios, shocking rhythmic and harmonic turns, and meditative discipline. Joshua Barone, New York Times, 16 Nov. 2023 In the Clarinet Sonata, Anthony McGill displayed eerily beautiful arpeggios just on the verge of audibility. Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Oct. 2023 This is a pointillist subjectivity, a psyche playing arpeggios. Tobi Haslett, Harper's Magazine, 18 Sep. 2023 Muhly, more respectful than most, preserves the crisp, clean lines of Monteverdi’s score while filling in all manner of instrumental filigree: delicate arpeggios in the harp, buzzing tremolos in the strings, decorative flourishes in the winds. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 14 Aug. 2023 The end of the second movement closes with a super-soft arpeggio that sits on a suspension. Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Aug. 2023 This was aided by Nelsons’s crisp conducting and the occasional arpeggio from a harpsichord in the recitatives. Jeremy Yudkin, BostonGlobe.com, 17 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'arpeggio.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Italian, noun derivative of arpeggiare "to play the harp," from arpa "harp" (going back to a Vulgar Latin loan from Germanic *harpō- "harp") + -eggiare, factitive verb suffix, going back to Latin -idiāre, originally representing variant pronunciation (or spelling variant) of -izāre -ize — more at harp entry 1

First Known Use

circa 1724, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of arpeggio was circa 1724

Dictionary Entries Near arpeggio

Cite this Entry

“Arpeggio.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arpeggio. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

arpeggio

noun
ar·​peg·​gio är-ˈpej-ō How to pronounce arpeggio (audio)
-ˈpej-ē-ˌō
plural arpeggios
1
: the playing of the tones of a chord in succession and not at the same time
2
: a chord played in arpeggio
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