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Definition of "cantabile" [can•ta•bi•le]

  • In a smooth, lyrical, flowing style. Used chiefly as a direction. (adverb)
  • A cantabile passage or movement. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "cantabile" in a sentence
  • "As Joplin famously noted of all his compositions, "It is never right to play 'ragtime' fast," while his concert waltz "Bethena" adds the direction "cantabile" - "as if singing.""
  • "Some of these arias were written in a virtuoso style, with rich vocal lines and complex instrumental accompaniment; others were cantabile, meaning simpler in style and intended mainly to highlight the feelings or thoughts of a character, with little ornamentation and the instrumentation kept in the background."
  • "As all of you who watch this show should know, "cantabile" means "in a singing style," and that is exactly what the first eight bars of this piece sound like."