pas·​sage·​work ˈpa-sij-ˌwərk How to pronounce passagework (audio)
: a section of a musical composition characteristically unimportant thematically and consisting especially of ornamental figures

Examples of passagework in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His swirling passagework dazzles with virtuosity, and the cadenza is appealingly rhapsodic. Dallas News, 29 June 2022 Declarative episodes were vigorous without being forced, and nimble passagework was dispatched with a feathery touch. Dallas News, 7 Feb. 2022 A certain rhythmic freedom in some of his first-movement passagework felt new to his interpretation of this perennial favorite., 9 Aug. 2021 Connolly’s regal tone and Rae’s nuanced passagework partly redeemed these regressive conceptions. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 30 May 2022 Teaming up with Chen, cellist Taeguk Mun met technical demands with ease, navigating wide leaps, tossing off fast passagework and dispatching virtuosic pluckings in the second movement scherzo. Dallas News, 21 Feb. 2022 Mamora rippled through virtuosic passagework, and there was plenty to enjoy in his shaping of melodies. Dallas News, 25 June 2022 The orchestra showed an impressive ability to build energy over time, and later, triumphant fugal passagework displayed more of the high level of ensemble synchrony in winds and strings that characterizes the orchestra’s present sound. Lukas Schulze, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Aug. 2022 However, at times that power drained away during rapid passagework, sometimes dragging behind the beat. Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Aug. 2022

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

Word History

First Known Use

1865, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of passagework was in 1865

Dictionary Entries Near passagework

Cite this Entry

“Passagework.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

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