follow Dictionary.com

Word of the Day
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Definitions for fermata

  1. the sustaining of a note, chord, or rest for a duration longer than the indicated time value, with the length of the extension at the performer's discretion.
  2. a symbol placed over a note, chord, or rest indicating a fermata.

Learn something
new every day


GET OUR


Thank youfor signing up
Get the Word of the Day Email
Citations for fermata
There was a surreal, suspended moment, a fermata during which I heard a line of sitcom patter on a TV somewhere—Don't worry, sir, we'll have you doing the Lambeth Walk in no time—followed by that funhouse laughter, ha ha ha ha ha ha. William Landay, Mission Flats, 2003
I had finally detached myself from that intoxicating fermata, thinking I should make some kind of an effort to pull myself together. Katharine Weber, True Confessions, 2009
Origin of fermata
1875-1880
Fermata comes from the Italian word of the same spelling which means "stop" or "pause." It entered English in the late 1870s.