1 of 2


spic·​ca·​to spi-ˈkä-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce spiccato (audio)
: performed with a slight lifting of the bow after each note
used as a direction in music


2 of 2


plural spiccatos
: a spiccato technique, performance, or passage

Examples of spiccato in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Every tackle and pass intertwined with serene pizzicati, rhythmic spiccato and even the droning noise of electric guitars. BenoÎt Morenne, New York Times, 23 June 2016

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

Word History



Italian, past participle of spiccare to detach, pick off

First Known Use


circa 1724, in the meaning defined above


circa 1903, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spiccato was circa 1724

Dictionary Entries Near spiccato

Cite this Entry

“Spiccato.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spiccato. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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