noun Also, cadency.
rhythmic flow of a sequence of sounds or words: the cadence of language.
(in free verse) a rhythmic pattern that is nonmetrically structured.
the beat, rate, or measure of any rhythmic movement: The chorus line danced in rapid cadence.
the flow or rhythm of events, especially the pattern in which something is experienced: the frenetic cadence of modern life.
a slight falling in pitch of the voice in speaking or reading, as at the end of a declarative sentence.
the general modulation of the voice.
Music. a sequence of notes or chords that indicates the momentary or complete end of a composition, section, phrase, etc.
verb (used with object), cadenced, cadencing.
to make rhythmical.

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French < Italian cadenza; see cadenza

3. tempo, pulse, rhythm, meter. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cadence or cadency (ˈkeɪdəns)
n , pl -dences, -dencies
1.  the beat or measure of something rhythmic
2.  a fall in the pitch of the voice, as at the end of a sentence
3.  modulation of the voice; intonation
4.  a rhythm or rhythmic construction in verse or prose; measure
5.  the close of a musical phrase or section
[C14: from Old French, from Old Italian cadenza, literally: a falling, from Latin cadere to fall]
cadency or cadency
[C14: from Old French, from Old Italian cadenza, literally: a falling, from Latin cadere to fall]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "flow of rhythm in verse or music," from M.Fr. cadence, O.It. cadenza "conclusion of a movement in music," lit. "a falling," from V.L. *cadentia, from L. neut. pl. of cadens (gen. cadentis), prp. of cadere "to fall" (see case (1)). In 16c., sometimes used literally
for "an act of falling."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in music, the ending of a phrase, perceived as a rhythmic or melodic articulation or a harmonic change or all of these; in a larger sense, a cadence may be a demarcation of a half-phrase, of a section of music, or of an entire movement

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
This ensures a steady cadence of publications for the next few years.
Three months after the earthquake, some of the customary cadence of life has
Sacks is fond of swimming, and said the one-two-three cadence of his strokes
  often leads him to play a waltz in his mind.
Truth is, he's got a weird cadence that I never really captured.
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