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
Examples of recitative in a Sentence
the second recitative of Act II
The opera made use of recitative.
Recent Examples of recitative from the Web
The recitatives that had been thought to be the opera’s longueurs here were shown to be, in fact, as subtly inflected as Gregorian chant.
This is accomplished in 34 short musical numbers, including arias, ariosos, choruses, recitatives and chorales.
Glover conducted with urgency as well as accompanied recitatives on harpsichord.
The harpsichord, usually heard only in recitatives, joined some of the arias and ensembles in witty, improvisatory fashion.
The piece begins with a long recitative and aria in which Ms. Southwell’s Sarah admits to murdering her husband and two children but tries to explain her motives.
Jokes about tenors or recitatives, for instance, playfully turn the spotlight on the conventions of the genre.
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
First Known Use: 1654See Words from the same year
RECITATIVE Defined for English Language Learners
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
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