Definition of ostinato in English:


Line breaks: os¦tin|ato
Pronunciation: /ˌɒstɪˈnɑːtəʊ

noun (plural ostinatos or ostinati /-ti/)

  • 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'.

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