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[koh-duh] /ˈkoʊ də/
Music. a more or less independent passage, at the end of a composition, introduced to bring it to a satisfactory close.
Ballet. the concluding section of a ballet, especially the final part of a pas de deux.
a concluding section or part, especially one of a conventional form and serving as a summation of preceding themes, motifs, etc., as in a work of literature or drama.
anything that serves as a concluding part.
Phonetics. the segment of a syllable following the nucleus, as the d- sound in good.
Compare core1 (def 14), onset (def 3).
Origin of coda
1745-55; < Italian < Latin cauda tail; cf. queue Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for coda
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The closing bars suggest the stringendo passage and presto bars in the coda of the Scherzo of the "Choral Symphony."

    The Pianoforte Sonata J.S. Shedlock
  • The coda, as in the other sonata, is simply a strong passage of climax.

  • But we can follow with the coda of that same dictum: "This is indeed to be an author."

    Unicorns James Huneker
  • The rest of the coda is a scene of jubilation with ever more life and light.

    Music: An Art and a Language Walter Raymond Spalding
  • One of the glosses referred to in this coda, lies before me as I write.

British Dictionary definitions for coda


(music) the final, sometimes inessential, part of a musical structure
a concluding part of a literary work, esp a summary at the end of a novel of further developments in the lives of the characters
Word Origin
C18: from Italian: tail, from Latin cauda
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 coda

"concluding passage in a musical composition," 1753, from Latin cauda "tail of an animal."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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coda in Culture

coda definition

An ending to a piece of music, standing outside the formal structure of the piece. Coda is the Italian word for “tail.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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