scher·​zo | \ ˈskert-(ˌ)sō How to pronounce scherzo (audio) \
plural scherzos or scherzi\ ˈskert-​(ˌ)sē How to pronounce scherzo (audio) \

Definition of scherzo

: a sprightly humorous instrumental musical composition or movement commonly in quick triple time

Examples of scherzo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The third movement scherzo is apocalyptic; crashing, thunderous chords are used as a merciless refrain in a danse macabre. San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Apr. 2022 The second movement, a galloping scherzo in triple time, was brimming with character, and benefited greatly from Cox’s locomotive approach. Washington Post, 8 Apr. 2022 The opening section recalls the chromatic yet tonal music of Schoenberg and Zemlinsky 40 years prior but is followed by a dissonant scherzo. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Nov. 2021 But in the lightning-fast scherzo, the group maintained total control. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, 16 Apr. 2021 Only in the tricky scherzo did orchestral coordination slip slightly and briefly. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 31 Oct. 2020 Tempos one notch faster than Trevino’s would have given the opening more urgency, and the lush trios of the scherzo more coherence. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 29 Feb. 2020 There was no doubting the scherzo’s rhythmic buoyancy, Masur and friends conjuring its high spirits with vigor and clarity. Howard Reich,, 22 Oct. 2019 The Allegro appassionato scherzo is an intense wintry waltz, the Andante a reflection and a meditation, the Allegretto grazioso a light-hearted finale with a tinge of melancholy., 19 Oct. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of scherzo

1830, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for scherzo

Italian, literally, joke, from scherzare

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The first known use of scherzo was in 1830

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Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scherzo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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