cav·​a·​ti·​na ˌka-və-ˈtē-nə How to pronounce cavatina (audio)
: an operatic solo simpler and briefer than an aria
: a songlike instrumental piece or movement

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Gubanova did nicely with her cavatina despite some flatting of pitch at the lower end of her range. John Von Rhein,, 22 June 2018 The chorus had to stand around staring cluelessly at deeply personal outpourings of grief; almost every aria—a slow cavatina followed by a fast cabaletta—was interrupted by some startling piece of news to justify the radical change of mood. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cavatina.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


borrowed from Italian, from cavata "extraction, production of sound from an instrument" (from cavare "to dig out, extract"—going back to Latin cavāre "to hollow out"— + -ata -ade) + -ina, feminine of -ino, diminutive suffix, going back to Latin -īnus, suffix of appurtenance — more at excavate

First Known Use

1813, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cavatina was in 1813

Dictionary Entries Near cavatina

Cite this Entry

“Cavatina.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

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