[in-ter-met-soh, -med-zoh]
noun, plural intermezzos, intermezzi [in-ter-met-see, -med-zee] .
a short dramatic, musical, or other entertainment of light character, introduced between the acts of a drama or opera.
a short musical composition between main divisions of an extended musical work.
a short, independent musical composition.

1805–15; < Italian < Late Latin intermedium; see intermediary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
intermezzo (ˌɪntəˈmɛtsəʊ)
n , pl -zos, -zi
1.  a short piece of instrumental music composed for performance between the acts or scenes of an opera, drama, etc
2.  an instrumental piece either inserted between two longer movements in an extended composition or intended for independent performance
3.  another name for interlude
[C19: from Italian, from Late Latin intermedium interval; see intermediate]

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

1834, from It. intermezzo, from L. intermedius (see intermediate).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in music and theatre, an entertainment performed between the acts of a play; also a light instrumental composition. In the late 15th and 16th centuries, classical and contemporary plays were performed with intermezzi written by the finest composers of the time and consisting of solo songs, madrigals and other part-songs, dance, and, occasionally, spoken dialogue. In subject matter, they were often allegorical or pastoral.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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