alla breve

[ ah-luh brev-ey; Italian ahl-lah bre-ve ]
/ ˈɑ lə ˈbrɛv eɪ; Italian ˈɑl lɑ ˈbrɛ vɛ /

adverb, adjective Music.

using the half note as the basic time unit; 2/2 time. Symbol:
Compare common time.

Origin of alla breve

1800–10; < Italian: in short time, accelerated. See brief
Also called cut time. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for alla breve

alla breve

/ (ˈælə ˈbreɪvɪ, Italian ˈalla ˈbrɛːve) /


a musical time signature indicating two or four minims to a bar

adjective, adverb

twice as fast as normal
Usual symbol: Symbol:

Word Origin for alla breve

C19: Italian, literally: (according) to the breve
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