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as in:  played it staccato

I love the music’s staccato notes.
  in music, the separating notes by cutting them short and crisp


sounds that are short and crisp
 Mark word for later review on this computer
staccato staccati staccatos
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Sample from Mozart
  • I love the music’s staccato notes.
  • a staccato command
  • A shot. And another. And another, rumbling, staccato. A man began to scream...
    Jane Yolen  --  The Devils Arithmetic
  • He was intrigued by the power of words, not the literary words that filled the books in the library but the sharp, staccato words that went into the writing of news stories.
    Robert Cormier  --  I Am the Cheese

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  • He heard it again; then it was cut short by another noise, crisp, staccato.
    Richard Connell  --  The Most Dangerous Game
  • Whispers ride the air, and I think I hear the piercing staccato of wild laughter.
    Sabaa Tahir  --  An Ember in the Ashes
  • The woods echoed with the staccato bursts of automatic weapons and people screaming, but it wasn’t computing, like Crisco’s head snapping back and the way he flopped into the gray dust like every bone in his body had suddenly turned into Jell-O, the way his killer had swung around in a perfectly executed pirouette with the barrel of the gun flashing in the sunlight.
    Rick Yancey  --  The 5th Wave
  • More of the black things were scuttling out of the dark, their feet beating a quick staccato rhythm against roots and rocks and leaves.
    Patrick Rothfuss  --  The Name of the Wind
  • Without asking any questions, he took her hand and stayed with her, the quiet interrupted only by her occasional staccato breaths.
    Pam Munoz Ryan  --  Esperanza Rising
  • "He’s going to have a gun, you know" The words were staccato, and her voice was a tone I’d only heard a couple times during all the years we’d been together.
    Scott Pratt  --  An Innocent Client

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  • He recited this in staccato fashion as he had a million times before.
    David Baldacci  --  Zero Day
  • Five streets to the north, a white-haired eighteen-year-old German private named Werner Pfennig wakes to a faint staccato hum.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See
  • Fifteen minutes later to the dot, Vee bounced the Neon up the driveway and beeped the horn staccato-style.
    Becca Fitzpatrick  --  Hush, Hush
  • His face was flushed and shiny and his voice very quick, with a strained, staccato quality I knew all too well.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • The man was walking with the staccato steps of someone carrying a load too heavy for him.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • We could just hear the short staccato sounds of the goats: ba-aaaa… baaa … baaa.
    Marcus Luttrell  --  Lone Survivor
  • It flashed again and was followed by a rapid staccato of gunfire.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  The Kite Runner
  • So far as it could be achieved, a Newspeak word of this class was simply a staccato sound expressing one clearly understood concept.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • While still in the anteroom Prince Andrew heard loud voices and a ringing staccato laugh—a laugh such as one hears on the stage.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace
  • His crutches clicked out a rapid staccato as he hurried across the room.
    Dan Brown  --  The Da Vinci Code
  • So that it seemed as if the slow rhythm of the rising fields had been picked up, stressed, accelerated and broken into the staccato chords of the finale.
    Ayn Rand  --  The Fountainhead
  • I took off after him, my helmet whapping against the roof in a painful staccato.
    Homer Hickam  --  October Sky
  • I was gasping out fear in staccato.
    Randy Pausch  --  The Last Lecture
  • He laughed, a sharp staccato laugh.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Ashes
  • And she would summon the waiter to her side, her voice sharp and staccato, cutting the air like a saw.
    Daphne du Maurier  --  Rebecca
  • Once a month, he drove from Kabul to visit them in Shadbagh, his arrival announced by a staccato of honks and the hollering of a horde of village kids who chased the big blue car with the tan top and shiny rims.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  And The Mountains Echoed
  • There were sharp sounds–footsteps, staccato against a hard floor.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  The Host
  • He spoke in a slow staccato fashion, choosing his words with care, and gave the impression generally of a man of learning and letters who had had ill-usage at the hands of fortune.
    Arthur Conan Doyle  --  The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • Patrick heard another staccato of gunshots, and had to restrain himself from running toward them blindly.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Nineteen Minutes
  • Yossarian went to bed early for safety and soon dreamed that he was fleeing almost headlong down an endless wooden staircase, making a loud, staccato clatter with his heels.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • "Motive power?" the man was saying in a voice that had a brusque, staccato snap and a slurred, nasal drawl, together.
    Ayn Rand  --  Atlas Shrugged
  • The tumultuous noise resolved itself now into the disorderly mingling of many voices, the gride of many wheels, the creaking of waggons, and the staccato of hoofs.
    H.G. Wells  --  The War of the Worlds
  • Then it began to build quickly, his voice rising until it was just a staccato list of words that he spit out, one right after another.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Just Listen
  • He made no answer, and had turned his face away from her again, and Mrs. Hall, feeling that her conversational advances were ill-timed, laid the rest of the table things in a quick staccato and whisked out of the room.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Invisible Man
  • It’s all very well for me to think these things, quick as staccato, a jittering of the brain.
    Margaret Atwood  --  The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Annie’s boot-heels rattled staccato down the hallwav.
    Stephen King  --  Misery
  • A series of staccato taps on the west window brought Anne flying in from the yard, eyes shining, cheeks faintly flushed with pink, unbraided hair streaming behind her in a torrent of brightness.
    Lucy Maud Montgomery  --  Anne Of Green Gables
  • And I saw the squat man shake his fist angrily over the uplifted faces, yelling something in a staccato West Indian accent, at which the crowd yelled threateningly.
    Ralph Ellison  --  Invisible Man
  • He marched stiffly to show me how to make each finger dance up and down, staccato like an obedient little soldier.
    Amy Tan  --  The Joy Luck Club
  • I drummed my fingers as I waited for my decrepit computer to wheeze awake; they snapped against the desk, staccato and anxious.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Eclipse
  • Passengers would get on and off as I listened to their conversations mix with the sounds of the train doors opening and closing, the conductors yelling their stops, and the shuffle and staccato of shoe soles and high heels going from pavement to metal to the soft thump thump on the carpeted train aisles.
    Alice Sebold  --  The Lovely Bones
  • "Dad, I don’t think—" Suddenly a staccato crack echoed overhead.
    Dan Brown  --  The Lost Symbol
  • Double helixes of DNA twisted and spiraled across my screen, then were overlaid with faded, unreadable newspaper clippings, staccato chunks of sound, colored postcards of New York.
    James Patterson  --  The Angel Experiment
  • Dick thought he would probably be a fine clinician, for the sonorous or staccato cadences by which he disciplined nurse or patient came not from his nervous system but from a tremendous and harmless vanity.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Tender is the Night
  • Through the closed doors came the sounds of the discreet staccato accompaniment of the orchestra, and a single female voice rendering distinctly a musical phrase.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  Anna Karenina
  • I stood there and listened to the rapid, diminishing staccato of her heels on the marble of the corridor.
    Robert Penn Warren  --  All the King’s Men
  • Every now and then a staccato interjection from my grandmother.
    Katherine Paterson  --  Jacob Have I Loved
  • I am remembering a fugue Uncle used to love—a melody Father composed in New Denver which Stephen developed— a quiet light staccato, clear and precise with long pauses between the notes of the melody.
    Joy Kogawa  --  Obasan
  • He was a thin, sallow man with a red nose, quick, staccato, and smartly but stiffly dressed.
    D.H. Lawrence  --  Sons and Lovers
  • Suddenly the painter appeared at the door of the studio, and made staccato signs for them to come in.
    Oscar Wilde  --  The Picture of Dorian Gray
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Associated words [difficulty]:   staccato [3] , forte [7] , syncopation [7] , melisma [9]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Fine Arts & Music, Classic Literature, Nature & Ecology, Sports
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