noun Music.

an elaborate flourish or showy solo passage, sometimes improvised, introduced near the end of an aria or a movement of a concerto.

Nearby words

  1. cadenced,
  2. cadency,
  3. cadent,
  4. cadent house,
  5. cadential,
  6. cadet,
  7. cadet cloth,
  8. cadette,
  9. cadge,
  10. cadger

Origin of cadenza

1745–55; < Italian < Vulgar Latin *cadentia a falling, equivalent to Latin cad(ere) to fall + -entia -ency; cf. chance Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cadenza

British Dictionary definitions for cadenza



a virtuoso solo passage occurring near the end of a piece of music, formerly improvised by the soloist but now usually specially composed
Southern African informal a fit or convulsion

Word Origin for cadenza

C19: from Italian; see cadence

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 cadenza



"ornamental passage near the close of a song or solo," 1836, from Italian cadenza (see cadence).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper