[ pit-si-kah-toh; Italian peet-tsee-kah-taw ]
/ ˌpɪt sɪˈkɑ toʊ; Italian ˌpit tsiˈkɑ tɔ /


played by plucking the strings with the finger instead of using the bow, as on a violin.

noun, plural piz·zi·ca·ti [pit-si-kah-tee; Italian peet-tsee-kah-tee] /ˌpɪt sɪˈkɑ ti; Italian ˌpit tsiˈkɑ ti/.

a note or passage so played.

Origin of pizzicato

1835–45; < Italian, past participle of pizzicare to pluck, pick, twang (a stringed instrument)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pizzicato

British Dictionary definitions for pizzicato


/ (ˌpɪtsɪˈkɑːtəʊ) music /

adjective, adverb

(in music for the violin family) to be plucked with the finger


the style or technique of playing a normally bowed stringed instrument in this manner

Word Origin for pizzicato

C19: from Italian: pinched, from pizzicare to twist, twang
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