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sec·​co ˈse-(ˌ)kō How to pronounce secco (audio)
: the art of painting on dry plaster


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adjective or adverb

: short and very staccato
used as a direction in music
of a recitative : accompanied only by the instruments playing the continuo

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Vergine Marsala is a secco (dry) wine, fortified after fermentation is complete with no mosto cotto or sifone. John Mariani, Forbes, 12 Nov. 2021 Categories abound in the world of Marsala wine—it can be classified as either secco, semisecco, or sweet depending on its sugar content, and has five distinct classifications depending on how long it’s been aged. Jared Ranahan, Forbes, 31 May 2021 Oh, and be sure to pick up the Purr-secco and don’t furget to get out the comfortable day paw-jamas. Matthew Gilbert,, 1 Feb. 2021 The restaurant’s Old King Cole martini (one of dozens in Simonson’s book) combines Old Raj gin, Mancino secco vermouth and Angostura orange bitters. M. Carrie Allan, Washington Post, 11 Sep. 2019

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

Word History



Italian, from secco dry, from Latin siccus — more at sack

Adjective or adverb

Italian, literally, dry

First Known Use


1852, in the meaning defined above

Adjective Or Adverb

circa 1854, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of secco was in 1852

Dictionary Entries Near secco

Cite this Entry

“Secco.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

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