noun Also cadency.

verb (used with object), ca·denced, ca·denc·ing.

to make rhythmical.

Origin of cadence

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French < Italian cadenza; see cadenza

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

Examples from the Web for cadence

Contemporary Examples of cadence

Historical Examples of cadence

  • I have brought men to dress you in a cadence; these kinds of suits are put on with ceremony.

  • It regulated the juxtaposition of sounds and the cadence of sentences.

  • May again sighed, and with a tremor in the cadence that was almost a sob.

    One Of Them

    Charles James Lever

  • All his yearnings were fanned to flame by the cadence of her voice and the softness of her eyes.

    The Plunderer

    Roy Norton

  • It will be remarked that it is so free that there is no cadence that any musician could find.

    Confessions of a Book-Lover

    Maurice Francis Egan

British Dictionary definitions for cadence



noun plural -dences or -dencies

the beat or measure of something rhythmic
a fall in the pitch of the voice, as at the end of a sentence
modulation of the voice; intonation
a rhythm or rhythmic construction in verse or prose; measure
the close of a musical phrase or section

Word Origin for cadence

C14: from Old French, from Old Italian cadenza, literally: a falling, from Latin cadere to fall
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 cadence

late 14c., "flow of rhythm in verse or music," from Middle French cadence, from Old Italian cadenza "conclusion of a movement in music," literally "a falling," from Vulgar Latin *cadentia, from neuter plural of Latin cadens, present participle of cadere "to fall" (see case (n.1)). In 16c., sometimes used literally for "an act of falling." A doublet of chance (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper