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90s Slang You Should Know


[skert-soh] /ˈskɛrt soʊ/
noun, plural scherzos, scherzi
[skert-see] /ˈskɛrt si/ (Show IPA).
a movement or passage of light or playful character, especially as the second or third movement of a sonata or a symphony.
Origin of scherzo
1850-55; < Italian: joke, derivative of scherzare to joke, of Langobardic orig. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for scherzo
Historical Examples
  • She suggested the scherzo, which the master had not yet heard, but eventually got a scolding for her pains.

  • So they plunged again into an Andante and scherzo of Beethoven.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • And then what does that irritating Lætitia Wilson do but say suddenly, "I'm quite ready for the scherzo, dear, if you are."

    Somehow Good William de Morgan
  • The scherzo is again of the Beethoven order in its contagious comicality.

  • 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
  • Then came the scherzo, and from that moment they were Balaams.

    Dodo Wonders E. F. Benson
  • To the meagre body of American scherzos, Bartlett's scherzo will be very welcome.

  • Why was that scherzo on the music-desk, and why do its leaves turn so inconveniently?

  • Hilda listened with pleasure and with exaltation to the scherzo.

    Hilda Lessways Arnold Bennett
  • In place of the old minuet movement Beethoven introduced the scherzo.

    How Music Developed W. J. Henderson
British Dictionary definitions for scherzo


noun (pl) -zos, -zi (-tsiː)
a brisk lively movement, developed from the minuet, with a contrastive middle section (a trio) See minuet (sense 2)
Word Origin
Italian: joke, of Germanic origin; compare Middle High German scherzen to jest
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 scherzo

1852, from Italian scherzo, literally "sport, joke," from scherzare "to jest or joke," from a Germanic source (cf. Middle High German scherzen "to jump merrily, enjoy oneself," German scherz "sport"), from PIE *(s)ker- (2) "leap, jump about." The lively second or third movement in a multi-movement work. Scherzando is the Italian gerund of scherzare.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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