[pit-si-kah-toh; Italian peet-tsee-kah-taw] Music.
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] .
a note or passage so played.

1835–45; < Italian, past participle of pizzicare to pluck, pick, twang (a stringed instrument)

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World English Dictionary
pizzicato (ˌpɪtsɪˈkɑːtəʊ)
adj, —adv
1.  (in music for the violin family) to be plucked with the finger
2.  the style or technique of playing a normally bowed stringed instrument in this manner
[C19: from Italian: pinched, from pizzicare to twist, twang]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1845, from It. pizzicato, pp. of pizzicare "to pluck (strings), pinch," from pizzare "to prick, to sting," from O.It. pizzo "point, edge," from V.L. *pits-, probably of imitative origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
And through the shimmery pizzicato of the third movement the listener can see it too.
The pizzicato style varies between different players and genres.
In pizzicato playing, the string is plucked directly with the fingers or thumb.
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