Borrowing from Italian staccato (“detached, disconnected”), past participle of staccare (“to detach, separate”), aphetic variant of distaccare (“to separate, detach”) from Middle French destacher (“to detach”) from Old French destachier (“to detach”) from des- + atachier (“to attach”), alteration of estachier (“to fasten with or to a stake, lay claim to”) from estache (“a stake”), from Low Frankish *stakka (“stake”), from Proto-Germanic *stakkaz, *stakkēn (“stick, stake”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)teg- (“stick, stake”). Akin to Old High German stecko (“post”) (German Stecken (“stick”)), Old Saxon stekko (“stake”), Old Norse stakkr (“hay stack, heap”), Old English staca (“stake”). More at stake.
- Rhymes: -ɒtəʊ
- (music) An articulation marking directing that a note or passage of notes are to be played in an abruptly disconnected manner, with each note sounding for a very short duration, and a short break lasting until the sounding of the next note; as opposed to legato. Staccato is indicated by a dot directly above or below the notehead.
- (music) A passage having this mark.
- (music) played in this style
- Now, play the same passage very staccato.
- (music) Describing a passage having this mark.
- Made up of abruptly disconnected parts or sounds.
1891, Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray:
- The same nervous staccato laugh broke from her thin lips, and her fingers began to play with a long tortoise-shell paper-knife.
- (music): legato
From staccare (“to detach, separate”).
staccato m (plural staccati)