[ ahr-pej-ee-oh, -pej-oh ]
/ ɑrˈpɛdʒ iˌoʊ, -ˈpɛdʒ oʊ /

noun, plural ar·peg·gi·os. Music.

the sounding of the notes of a chord in rapid succession instead of simultaneously.
a chord thus sounded.


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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for arpeggio

British Dictionary definitions for arpeggio


/ (ɑːˈpɛdʒɪəʊ) /

noun plural -gios

a chord whose notes are played in rapid succession rather than simultaneously
an ascending and descending figuration used in practising the piano, voice, etc

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper