[ kuh-pree-chee-oh; Italian kah-preet-chaw ]
See synonyms for capriccio on
noun,plural ca·pric·ci·os, ca·pric·ci [kuh-pree-chee; Italian kah-preet-chee]. /kəˈpri tʃi; Italian kɑˈprit tʃi/.
  1. Music. a composition in a free, irregular style.

  2. a caper; prank.

  1. a whim; caprice.

Origin of capriccio

First recorded in 1595–1605; Italian “sudden startle,” possibly from capra “nanny goat” or capro “billy goat” (as of the skipping of a kid or goat), from Vulgar Latin capriceus “goat” (unattested); possibly from capo capo2 and riccio (adjective) “curly,” (noun) “hedgehog” (see arriccio)

Words Nearby capriccio Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use capriccio in a sentence

  • A capriccio on the German flute, by a distinguished amateur, who has lost four fingers and a thumb.

  • I had in mind the definition of a capriccio given by Praetorius, the celebrated musical authority of the eighteenth century.

    An Autobiography | Igor Stravinsky
  • That is why I wrote another concerto, which I called capriccio, that name seeming to indicate best the character of the music.

    An Autobiography | Igor Stravinsky
  • The Brussels concert at which I played my capriccio, which was repeated on the following day, has left a very pleasant memory.

    An Autobiography | Igor Stravinsky
  • An adagio may set a gouty father to sleep, and a capriccio may operate successfully on the nerves of a valetudinary mother.

British Dictionary definitions for capriccio



/ (kəˈprɪtʃɪˌəʊ) /

nounplural -priccios, -pricci (-ˈpriːtʃɪ) or -prices
  1. music a lively piece composed freely and without adhering to the rules for any specific musical form

Origin of 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