• synonyms


[in-ter-met-soh, -med-zoh]
noun, plural in·ter·mez·zos, in·ter·mez·zi [in-ter-met-see, -med-zee] /ˌɪn tərˈmɛt si, -ˈmɛd zi/,
  1. a short dramatic, musical, or other entertainment of light character, introduced between the acts of a drama or opera.
  2. a short musical composition between main divisions of an extended musical work.
  3. a short, independent musical composition.
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Origin of intermezzo

1805–15; < Italian < Late Latin intermedium; see intermediary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for intermezzo

Historical Examples of intermezzo

  • On the Third Intermezzo she was at her best, and a good best it was.

    The Mutiny of the Elsinore

    Jack London

  • The "Melody and Intermezzo" of opus 20 makes a sprightly humoresque.

  • She said: "I'll tell you what to Play; play the Intermezzo."

    Fables in Slang

    George Ade

  • Even the hand-organ could not rob the intermezzo of its charm for the public!

  • It is not a trick, and the intermezzo of the preceding pages has its importance.

    My Austrian Love

    Maxime Provost

British Dictionary definitions for intermezzo


noun plural -zos or -zi (-tsiː)
  1. a short piece of instrumental music composed for performance between the acts or scenes of an opera, drama, etc
  2. an instrumental piece either inserted between two longer movements in an extended composition or intended for independent performance
  3. another name for interlude (def. 3)
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Word Origin for intermezzo

C19: from Italian, from Late Latin intermedium interval; see intermediate
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 intermezzo


1834, from Italian intermezzo "short dramatic performance between the acts of a play or opera," literally "that which is between," from Latin intermedius (see intermediate).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper