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[kuh-pree-chee-oh; Italian kah-preet-chaw] /kəˈpri tʃiˌoʊ; Italian kɑˈprit tʃɔ/
noun, plural capriccios, capricci
[kuh-pree-chee; Italian kah-preet-chee] /kəˈpri tʃi; Italian kɑˈprit tʃi/ (Show IPA)
Music. a composition in a free, irregular style.
a caper; prank.
a whim; caprice.
Origin of capriccio
1595-1605; < Italian, perhaps a shortening of caporiccio head with bristling hair

a capriccio

[ah kuh-pree-chee-oh; Italian ah kah-preet-chaw] /ˌɑ kəˈpri tʃiˌoʊ; Italian ˌɑ kɑˈprit tʃɔ/
adverb, Music.
at whatever tempo or with whatever expression the performer wishes.
< Italian: according to caprice Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for capriccio
Historical Examples
  • A Sonata Brilliant and a capriccio are among her best works.

    Woman's Work in Music Arthur Elson
  • I devoted most of 1929 to the composition of my capriccio, which I had begun the Christmas before.

    An Autobiography Igor Stravinsky
  • I worked at my capriccio all summer and finished it at the end of September.

    An Autobiography Igor Stravinsky
  • The capriccio, my latest composition, was already in demand in various towns.

    An Autobiography Igor Stravinsky
  • capriccio sopra la lontananza del suo fratello dilettissimo .


    Charles Francis Abdy Williams
  • With this capriccio Sinfonica Puccini made his first mark as a rising composer.

    Giacomo Puccini Wakeling Dry
  • A capriccio on the German flute, by a distinguished amateur, who has lost four fingers and a thumb.

  • capriccio in B-flat on the departure of a friend,” said he, continuing his noiseless evolutions.

  • He trembled lest he should have been the plaything of a whim, for he had heard what a capriccio might mean in an Italian.

    Albert Savarus Honore de Balzac
  • Ad libitum means at liberty; a piacere, at pleasure; and a capriccio, at the caprice (of the performer).

British Dictionary definitions for capriccio


noun (pl) -priccios, -pricci (-ˈpriːtʃɪ), -prices
(music) a lively piece composed freely and without adhering to the rules for any specific musical form
Word Origin
C17: from Italian: caprice
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
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Word Origin and History for capriccio

1690s as a term in music for a kind of free composition, from Italian capriccio "sudden start or motion" (see caprice). Earlier it meant "prank, trick" (1660s); "caprice" (c.1600).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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