[ fer-mah-tuh; Italian fer-mah-tah ]

noun,plural fer·ma·tas, Italian fer·ma·te [fer-mah-te]. /fɛrˈmɑ tɛ/. Music.
  1. the sustaining of a note, chord, or rest for a duration longer than the indicated time value, with the length of the extension at the performer's discretion.

  2. a symbol  placed over a note, chord, or rest indicating a fermata.

Origin of fermata

1875–80; <Italian: stop, pause, noun use of feminine of past participle of fermare to stop <Latin firmāre to make firm. See firm1, -ate1

Words Nearby fermata

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use fermata in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fermata


/ (fəˈmɑːtə) /

nounplural -tas or -te (-tɪ)
  1. music another word for pause (def. 5)

Origin of fermata

from Italian, from fermare to stop, from Latin firmāre to establish; see firm 1

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