[kuh-pree-chee-oh; Italian kah-preet-chaw]

noun, plural ca·pric·ci·os, ca·pric·ci [kuh-pree-chee; Italian kah-preet-chee] /kəˈpri tʃi; Italian kɑˈprit tʃi/.

Music. a composition in a free, irregular style.
a caper; prank.
a whim; caprice.

Origin of capriccio

1595–1605; < Italian, perhaps a shortening of caporiccio head with bristling hair

a capriccio

[ah kuh-pree-chee-oh; Italian ah kah-preet-chaw]

adverb Music.

at whatever tempo or with whatever expression the performer wishes.

Origin of a capriccio

< Italian: according to caprice Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for capriccio

capriccio, roulade

Examples from the Web for capriccio

Historical Examples of capriccio

  • A Sonata Brilliant and a Capriccio are among her best works.

  • I devoted most of 1929 to the composition of my Capriccio, which I had begun the Christmas before.

    An Autobiography

    Igor Stravinsky

  • I worked at my Capriccio all summer and finished it at the end of September.

    An Autobiography

    Igor Stravinsky

  • The Capriccio, my latest composition, was already in demand in various towns.

    An Autobiography

    Igor Stravinsky

  • Capriccio sopra la lontananza del suo fratello dilettissimo .


    Charles Francis Abdy Williams

British Dictionary definitions for capriccio



noun plural -priccios, -pricci (-ˈpriːtʃɪ) or -prices

music a lively piece composed freely and without adhering to the rules for any specific musical form

Word Origin for capriccio

C17: from Italian: caprice
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 capriccio

1690s as a term in music for a kind of free composition, from Italian capriccio "sudden start or motion" (see caprice). Earlier it meant "prank, trick" (1660s); "caprice" (c.1600).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper