Word of the Day

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


\fer-MAH-tuh; It. fer-MAH-tah\ , noun;
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.
a symbol placed over a note, chord, or rest indicating a 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
Fermata comes from the Italian word of the same spelling which means "stop" or "pause." It entered English in the late 1870s.
Get Word of the Day
Free Email Sign Up
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
About PRIVACY POLICY Terms Careers Advertise with Us Contact Us Our Blog Suggest a Word Help