Gain access to thousands of additional definitions and advanced search features—ad free! JOIN NOW
: a musical figure repeated persistently at the same pitch throughout a composition — compare imitation, sequence
Recent Examples on the Web
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ostinato.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
1928, in the meaning defined above
Italian, obstinate, from Latin obstinatus
Keep scrolling for more
Resources for ostinato
Time Traveler for ostinato
See more words from the same year
More from Merriam-Webster on ostinato
See words that rhyme with ostinato
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ostinato
Comments on ostinato
What made you want to look up ostinato? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
a trusted follower
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Difficult Vocab Quiz
Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.
Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!
Semantic bleaching and the power to amaze
Cans of worms, wild-goose chases, and more
Words from the week of 11/16/2018
This is just to say / Don't confuse them
And is one way more correct than the others?
The story of an imaginary word that managed to sneak past our editors and enter the dictionary.
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
The awkward case of 'his or her'
Another round of challenging vocab!
(Secret October WOTD Quiz)
A game of winding words.