cadence

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See also: Cadence and cadencé

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Middle French cadence, from Italian cadenza, from Latin *cadentia, form of cadēns, form of cadō (I fall, I cease), from Proto-Italic *kadō, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱad- (to fall). Doublet of cadenza and chance.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

cadence (countable and uncountable, plural cadences)

  1. The act or state of declining or sinking.
    • Milton
      Now was the sun in western cadence low.
  2. Balanced, rhythmic flow.
    • Shakespeare
      golden cadence of poesy
    • 1991 December 2, “At the Saudi-Kuwaiti Border”, in ABC Nightline:
      Night has now passed in the Saudi desert and as we hear from Nightline correspondent Forrest Sawyer, the normal cadence of life at the front is about to change.
  3. The measure or beat of movement.
    • 1993, Ken Schultz, “Terror of the deep”, in Field and Stream, volume 98, number 5, page 102:
      Getting into a good jigging rhythm means making short quick jerks in a regular cadence that might average about one jerk every 1.5 to 2 seconds.
  4. The general inflection or modulation of the voice, or of any sound.
    • Milton
      Blustering winds, which all night long / Had roused the sea, now with hoarse cadence lull / Seafaring men o'erwatched.
    • Sir Walter Scott
      The accents [] were in passion's tenderest cadence.
    • 1986, John le Carré, A Perfect Spy:
      Then away at last they sped to the house or bedside of some elderly and worthy person, and Pym sat fascinated to see how swiftly Rick trimmed his manner to suit theirs, how naturally he slipped into the cadences and vernacular that put them most at ease, and how the love of God came into his good face when he talked about Liberalism and Masonry and his dear dead father, God rest him, and a firstclass rate of return, ten percent guaranteed plus profits for as long as you're spared.
    • 1991 December 30, David Holmstrom, “Raimey: A Breath of Fresh Ayah”, in Christian Science Monitor:
      The cadence of Raimey's voice is pure Down-Easter Maine
  5. (music) A progression of at least two chords which conclude a piece of music, section or musical phrases within it. Sometimes referred to analogously as musical punctuation.
  6. (music) A cadenza, or closing embellishment; a pause before the end of a strain, which the performer may fill with a flight of fancy.
  7. (speech) A fall in inflection of a speaker’s voice, such as at the end of a sentence.
  8. (dance) A dance move which ends a phrase.
    The cadence in a galliard step refers to the final leap in a cinquepace sequence.
  9. (fencing) The rhythm and sequence of a series of actions.
  10. (running) The number of steps per minute.
  11. (cycling) The number of revolutions per minute of the cranks or pedals of a bicycle.
  12. (military) A chant that is sung by military personnel while running or marching; a jody call.
  13. (heraldry) cadency
  14. (horse-riding) Harmony and proportion of movement, as in a well-managed horse.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

cadence (third-person singular simple present cadences, present participle cadencing, simple past and past participle cadenced)

  1. To give a cadence to.
    • 1897, Don Carlos Buell, “Why the Confederacy Failed”, in The Century, volume 53:
      there was besides, in an already dominating and growing element, a motive that was stronger and more enduring than enthusiasm —an implacable antagonism which acted side by side with the cause of the Union as a perpetual impelling force against the social conditions of the South, controlling the counsels of the government, and cadencing the march of its armies to the chorus:
          John Brown's body lies mouldering in the grave,
          But his soul is marching on!
    • 1910, Publication: Illinois State Historical Society, Illinois State Historical Library, number 14, page 182:
      In this march to the City of the Dead,"'" scores upon scores of the best musical organizations of the nation were in line, whose funeral dirges cadenced the great wail of a bereft people.
    • 1990, Lewis Lockwood; Edward H. Roesner, (Please provide the book title or journal name), page 120:
      Example 10a gives a melody for one endecasyllabic line of verse; there are various ways of utilizing it, including Rore's choice of cadencing the first line on the third scale degree, for a two-line segment of an ottava stanza.
  2. To give structure to.
    • 1966, Joseph Leon Blau, Modern varieties of Judaism, page 158:
      It was the Exile, however, which cadenced the rhythm of Jewish existence
    • 2000, David C. Hammack, Making the Nonprofit Sector in the United States, page 256:
      They are neither mentioned specifically in the Constitution, nor in the Federalist Papers that cadenced the nationalist debates.
    • 2004, Andrew Ayers, The architecture of Paris: an architectural guide, page 38:
      ... an idea taken up by Percier and Fontaine, who also supplied the Corinthian order and transverse arcades cadencing the gallery's length today

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle French cadence, borrowed from Italian cadenza. Doublet of chance.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

cadence f (plural cadences)

  1. cadence

Verb[edit]

cadence

  1. first-person singular present indicative of cadencer
  2. third-person singular present indicative of cadencer
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of cadencer
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of cadencer
  5. second-person singular imperative of cadencer

Further reading[edit]