Definition of ostinato in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌɒstɪˈnɑːtəʊ/

noun (plural ostinatos or ostinati /ˌɒstɪˈnɑːti/)

A continually repeated musical phrase or rhythm: [as modifier]: the cellos have the tune, above an ostinato bass figure
More example sentences
  • He exploits rock idioms, such as rapidly repeated chords, ostinato bass lines and syncopated rhythms, but with little variation of content.
  • It is to be found in the basso ostinato, a repeated bass line over which a keyboard player or lutenist improvises chords and a singer or player evolves a melody.
  • The jazzy, flowing first movement made way for a stunning allegro: pizzicato ostinati, Spanish dance rhythms, dramatic passion to the fore.


Italian, literally 'obstinate'.

Words that rhyme with ostinato

agitato, Ambato, castrato, esparto, inamorato, legato, moderato, obbligato (US obligato), pizzicato, rubato, staccato, tomato, vibrato, Waikato

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: os¦tin|ato

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