[ stuh-kah-toh ]
/ stəˈkɑ toʊ /


shortened and detached when played or sung: staccato notes.
characterized by performance in which the notes are abruptly disconnected: a staccato style of playing.Compare legato.
composed of or characterized by abruptly disconnected elements; disjointed: rapid-fire, staccato speech.


in a staccato manner.

noun, plural stac·ca·tos, stac·ca·ti [stuh-kah-tee] /stəˈkɑ ti/.

performance in a staccato manner.
a staccato passage.

Origin of staccato

1715–25; < Italian: disconnected, past participle of staccare (derivative of stacca pole < Gothic, but taken as a variant of distaccare to detach) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for staccato

British Dictionary definitions for staccato

/ (stəˈkɑːtəʊ) /


music (of notes) short, clipped, and separate
characterized by short abrupt sounds, as in speecha staccato command


(esp used as a musical direction) in a staccato manner

Word Origin for staccato

C18: from Italian, from staccare to detach, shortened from distaccare
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 staccato

[ (stuh-kah-toh) ]

A direction in music meaning that the notes should be performed in an abrupt, sharp, clear-cut manner.

notes for staccato

The term staccato has been applied generally to things that occur in rapid bursts, such as gunfire.
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.