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recitative

1
[ res-i-tey-tiv, ri-sahy-tuh- ]
/ ˈrɛs ɪˌteɪ tɪv, rɪˈsaɪ tə- /
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adjective
pertaining to or of the nature of recital.
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Origin of recitative

1
First recorded in 1855–60; recite + -ative

Other definitions for recitative (2 of 2)

recitative2
[ res-i-tuh-teev ]
/ ˌrɛs ɪ təˈtiv /
Music.

adjective
of the nature of or resembling recitation or declamation.
noun
a style of vocal music intermediate between speaking and singing.
a passage, part, or piece in this style.
Also rec·i·ta·tif [res-i-tuh-teef] /ˌrɛs ɪ təˈtif/ .

Origin of recitative

2
From the Italian word recitativo, dating back to 1635–45; see recite, -ive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use recitative in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for recitative (1 of 2)

recitative1
/ (ˌrɛsɪtəˈtiːv) /

noun
a passage in a musical composition, esp the narrative parts in an oratorio, set for one voice with either continuo accompaniment only or full accompaniment, reflecting the natural rhythms of speech

Word Origin for recitative

C17: from Italian recitativo; see recite

British Dictionary definitions for recitative (2 of 2)

recitative2
/ (rɪˈsaɪtətɪv) /

adjective
of or relating to recital
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

Cultural definitions for recitative

recitative
[ (res-i-tuh-teev) ]

A part of a cantata, opera, or oratorio in which singers converse, describe action, or declaim. It moves the action forward between the high musical moments. Recitatives are distinguished from arias, which are more expressive and musically more elaborate. Recitatives usually have only one syllable of text for each note of music, and the accompaniment by instruments is often very simple.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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