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pizzicato

[pit-si-kah-toh; Italian peet-tsee-kah-taw] /ˌpɪt sɪˈkɑ toʊ; Italian ˌpit tsiˈkɑ tɔ/
adjective
1.
played by plucking the strings with the finger instead of using the bow, as on a violin.
noun, plural pizzicati
[pit-si-kah-tee; Italian peet-tsee-kah-tee] /ˌpɪt sɪˈkɑ ti; Italian ˌpit tsiˈkɑ ti/ (Show IPA)
2.
a note or passage so played.
Origin
1835-1845
1835-45; < Italian, past participle of pizzicare to pluck, pick, twang (a stringed instrument)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for pizzicati

pizzicato

/ˌpɪtsɪˈkɑːtəʊ/
adjective, adverb
1.
(in music for the violin family) to be plucked with the finger
noun
2.
the style or technique of playing a normally bowed stringed instrument in this manner
Word Origin
C19: from Italian: pinched, from pizzicare to twist, twang
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for pizzicati

pizzicato

n.

1845, from Italian pizzicato "plucked," past participle of pizzicare "to pluck (strings), pinch," from pizzare "to prick, to sting," from Old Italian pizzo "point, edge," from Vulgar Latin *pits-, probably of imitative origin. As an adjective from 1880.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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