• synonyms


[ahr-pej-ee-oh, -pej-oh]
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noun, plural ar·peg·gi·os. Music.
  1. the sounding of the notes of a chord in rapid succession instead of simultaneously.
  2. a chord thus sounded.
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Origin of arpeggio

1735–45; < Italian: literally, a harping, noun derivative of arpeggi(are) to play on the harp (< Germanic; compare Old English hearpi(g)an to harp)
Also called broken chord.
Related formsar·peg·gi·at·ed, ar·peg·gi·oed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for arpeggio

division, scale, roulade

Examples from the Web for arpeggio

Historical Examples of arpeggio

  • I amused myself by playing an arpeggio when Schikaneder came to a pause.

    Life Of Mozart, Vol. 3 (of 3)

    Otto Jahn

  • The study ends with the arpeggio passage as at the beginning.

    Nicolo Paganini: His Life and Work

    Stephen Samuel Stratton

  • There can never be too much practice of a scale or arpeggio exercise.

  • Scale and arpeggio passages were absolutely clean and without a flaw.

  • There must be scale and arpeggio study, in which the metronome can be used.

    Piano Mastery

    Harriette Brower

British Dictionary definitions for arpeggio


noun plural -gios
  1. a chord whose notes are played in rapid succession rather than simultaneously
  2. an ascending and descending figuration used in practising the piano, voice, etc
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Word Origin for arpeggio

C18: from Italian, from arpeggiare to perform on the harp, from arpa harp
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 arpeggio


1742, from Italian arpeggio, from arpeggiare "to play upon the harp," from arpa "harp," which is of Germanic origin (see harp (n.)). Related: Arpeggiated; arpeggiation.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper