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[ahr-pej-ee-oh, -pej-oh] /ɑrˈpɛdʒ iˌoʊ, -ˈpɛdʒ oʊ/
noun, plural arpeggios. Music.
the sounding of the notes of a chord in rapid succession instead of simultaneously.
a chord thus sounded.
Also called broken chord.
1735-45; < Italian: literally, a harping, noun derivative of arpeggi(are) to play on the harp (< Germanic; compare Old English hearpi(g)an to harp)
Related forms
arpeggiated, arpeggioed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for arpeggios
  • The music evokes the song's name, revolving around three circling and falling piano arpeggios.
  • At the outset her melodic effects were noticeably sharp, and some arpeggios skimmed: also one trill lapsed a trifle.
British Dictionary definitions for arpeggios


noun (pl) -gios
a chord whose notes are played in rapid succession rather than simultaneously
an ascending and descending figuration used in practising the piano, voice, etc
Word Origin
C18: from Italian, from arpeggiare to perform on the harp, from arpaharp
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
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Word Origin and History for arpeggios



1742, from Italian arpeggio, from arpeggiare "to play upon the harp," from arpa "harp," which is of Germanic origin (see harp (n.)). Related: Arpeggiated; arpeggiation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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