recitative

noun rec·i·ta·tive \ ˌre-sə-tə-ˈtēv , ˌres-tə- \

Definition of recitative

1 :a rhythmically free vocal style that imitates the natural inflections of speech and that is used for dialogue and narrative in operas and oratorios; also :a passage to be delivered in this style
2 :recitation 2

recitative

adjective

Examples of recitative in a Sentence

  1. the second recitative of Act II

  2. The opera made use of recitative.

Recent Examples of recitative from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of recitative

Italian recitativo, from recitare to recite, from Latin


RECITATIVE Defined for English Language Learners

recitative

noun

Definition of recitative for English Language Learners

  • music : a passage in vocal music (such as an opera) in which the words are sung in a way that resembles speech


Learn More about recitative


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to conform or adhere

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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