ot·​ta·​va | \ ō-ˈtä-və How to pronounce ottava (audio) \

Definition of ottava

: at an octave higher or lower than written used as a direction in music

First Known Use of ottava

1848, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ottava

Italian, octave, from Medieval Latin octava

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ottava

Statistics for ottava

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ottava

The first known use of ottava was in 1848

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on ottava

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ottava

Comments on ottava

What made you want to look up ottava? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!