: cut short or apart in performing : disconnected
: marked by short clear-cut playing or singing of tones or chords
a staccato style
the staccato blasts of a horn
Recent Examples on the Web Where Baraka often employs long, Whitmanesque lines, Harris’s are short and staccato. —Adam Bradley Tajh Rust, New York Times, 3 Mar. 2023 Gordon’s prose is relatively staccato, with lots of sentence fragments and short paragraphs, and the action moves rapidly, covering the events of just a few days. —Michael Dirda, Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2023 The song is heavily reminiscent of his uncle's sound, from its staccato Latin beats to Jackson's plaintive vocals. —Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, 30 Jan. 2023 The staccato rhythm of Italian laps at our ears like the waves of the Mediterranean. —Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, 14 July 2022 Words can be interpreted in multiple ways and rap music's staccato verbal acrobatics lend themselves naturally to a form of speech that invites political and social commentary, experts say. —Desiree Adib, ABC News, 16 Dec. 2022 Wachtel, who played the simple-staccato groove on the song’s original recording, stretched out for bluesy licks, before the whole band returned to lock in. —Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, 1 Nov. 2022 The strings roared through bellicose staccato passages in perfect synchrony, and the brass brought a great strength to tempestuous, martial gestures. —Luke Schulze, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Nov. 2022 Visco also sets just the right pace for her actors to deliver Marber’s sometimes staccato, almost poetic lines. —Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel, 18 Sep. 2022 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'staccato.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Get Word of the Day delivered to your inbox!
Love words? Need even more definitions?Merriam-Webster unabridged
See Definitions and Examples »
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Words at Play
Palter, Dissemble, and Other Words for Lying
Skunk, Bayou, and Other Words with Native American Origins
You've used more than you might think
Words For Things You Didn't Know Have Names, Vol. 2
When 'thingamajig' and 'thingamabob' just won't do
When Were Words First Used?
Look up any year to find out
Ask the Editors