• synonyms


[oh-tah-vuh; Italian awt-tah-vah]
adverb Music.
  1. (of notes in a score) at an octave higher than written (when placed above the staff) or lower than written (when placed below the staff). Abbreviation: 8va
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Origin of ottava

1810–20; < Italian: octave
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ottava

Historical Examples

  • Poliziano's Rispetti are written for the most part in ottava rima.

    Renaissance in Italy: Italian Literature

    John Addington Symonds

  • Byron had first adopted the stanza in his translation of Pulci's Morgante Maggiore, which is itself in ottava rime.

  • From Italy have come, besides the ottava rima and the sonnet, two other metrical forms, the sestina and the terza rima.

  • There are two ottava rime in Lycidas, one at the close of the Blind Mouths passage and one at the end of the poem.

  • The poem is written in ottava rima, but, very singularly, there is not one double rhyme from beginning to end.

British Dictionary definitions for ottava


  1. an interval of an octaveSee all'ottava
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Word Origin

Italian: octave
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