[ pah-suh-kahl-yuh, pas-uh-kal- ]
/ ˌpɑ səˈkɑl yə, ˌpæs əˈkæl- /
a slow, dignified dance of Spanish origin.
the music for this dance, based on an ostinato figure.
a musical form based on continuous variations over a ground bass.
Origin of passacaglia
1650–60; pseudo-Italian spelling of earlier passacalle < Spanish pasacalle literally, step (i.e., dance) in the street (pasa 3rd singular present of pasar to step, pace1 + calle street < Latin callem, accusative of callis path)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for passacaglia
Besides these there are the three great independent toccatas and the Passacaglia.
These sonatas and the passacaglia were written for his young son, W. Friedemann, to practise on the pedal clavichord.Bach|Charles Francis Abdy Williams
British Dictionary definitions for passacaglia
/ (ˌpæsəˈkɑːljə) /
an old Spanish dance in slow triple time
a slow instrumental piece characterized by a series of variations on a particular theme played over a repeated bass partSee also chaconne (def. 1)
Word Origin for passacaglia
C17: earlier passacalle, from Spanish pasacalle street dance, from paso step + calle street; the ending -alle was changed to -aglia to suggest an Italian origin
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