1

forte

noun \ ˈfȯrt ; sense 2 is often ˈfȯr-ˌtā or fȯr-ˈtā or ˈfȯr-tē \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of forte

1 : one's strong point
2 : the part of a sword or foil blade that is between the middle and the hilt and that is the strongest part of the blade

forte was our Word of the Day on 03/22/2010. Hear the podcast!

How do you pronounce forte?

In forte we have a word derived from French that in its "strong point" sense has no entirely satisfactory pronunciation. Usage writers have denigrated \ˈfȯr-ˌtā\ and \ˈfȯr-tē\ because they reflect the influence of the Italian-derived 2forte. Their recommended pronunciation \ˈfȯrt\, however, does not exactly reflect French either: the French would write the word le fort and would pronounce it more similar to English for. So you can take your choice, knowing that someone somewhere will dislike whichever variant you choose. All are standard, however. In British English \ˈfȯ-ˌtā\ and \ˈfȯt\ predominate; \ˈfȯr-ˌtā\ and \fȯr-ˈtā\ are probably the most frequent pronunciations in American English.


Examples of forte in a Sentence

  1. Emily's particular forte was desserts, and most dinner parties ended with three desserts. —Anne Sinkler Whaley LeClercqAn Antebellum Plantation Household1996
  2. Even during Picasso's youthful figurative stages, stark realism was never his forte —Patricia CorbettConnoisseurJuly 1988
  3. Though his forte was never the novel but the novella, he paid the rent by grinding out novel after novel … —Hugh KennerA Sinking Island(1987) 1988

Origin and Etymology of forte

French fort, from fort, adjective, strong


2

forte

adverb or adjective for·te \ ˈfȯr-ˌtā , ˈfȯr-tē \

Definition of forte

: loud used as a direction in music
  • violins played the passage forte

Origin and Etymology of forte

Italian, from forte strong, from Latin fortis


3

forte

noun for·te \ ˈfȯr-ˌtā , ˈfȯr-tē \

Definition of forte

: a musical tone or passage played loudly

Origin and Etymology of forte

see 2forte


FORTE Defined for English Language Learners

forte

adverb

Definition of forte for English Language Learners

  • music : in a loud manner


FORTE Defined for Kids

forte

noun \ ˈfȯrt , ˈfȯr-ˌtā \

Definition of forte for Students

: something in which a person shows special ability
  • Music is my forte.

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