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[ahr-ee-oh-soh, ar-; Italian ah-ryaw-saw]Music.
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adjective, adverb
  1. in the manner of an air or melody.
noun, plural a·rio·sos.
  1. an arioso composition or section.

Origin of arioso

1735–45; < Italian: literally, songlike. See aria, -ose1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for arioso

Historical Examples

  • Then it degenerates somewhat into an arioso, almost Italian.

    Contemporary American Composers

    Rupert Hughes

  • The oboe has a kind of arioso phrase with trilling of flutes and clarinets, answered in trumpets and harp.

  • Still more impressively is this mastery of expression shown in the arioso recitatives.

  • His forms are very free, and the recitative is almost wholly in the arioso style with full orchestral accompaniment.

    How Music Developed

    W. J. Henderson

  • Arioso in the recitative indicates an interpolated passage of vocal melody.

British Dictionary definitions for arioso


noun plural -sos or -si (-siː)
  1. music a recitative with the lyrical quality of an aria

Word Origin

C18: from Italian, from aria
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for arioso

"melodious, in a melodious way," 1742, from Italian aria "melody" (see aria).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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