a simple, lyric, melodic passage for voice or instrument.

Origin of cantilena

1730–40; < Italian < Latin cantilēna refrain, perhaps by dissimilation from *cantilēla, derivative of cantus song; see cant1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cantilena

Historical Examples of cantilena

British Dictionary definitions for cantilena



a smooth flowing style in the writing of vocal music

Word Origin for cantilena

C18: Italian, from Latin cantilēna a song
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