1. played by plucking the strings with the finger instead of using the bow, as on a violin.

noun, plural piz·zi·ca·ti [pit-si-kah-tee; Italian peet-tsee-kah-tee] /ˌpɪt sɪˈkɑ ti; Italian ˌpit tsiˈkɑ ti/.

  1. a note or passage so played.

adjective, adverb

  1. (in music for the violin family) to be plucked with the finger


  1. the style or technique of playing a normally bowed stringed instrument in this manner

n.1845, from Italian pizzicato “plucked,” past participle of pizzicare “to pluck (strings), pinch,” from pizzare “to prick, to sting,” from Old Italian pizzo “point, edge,” from Vulgar Latin *pits-, probably of imitative origin. As an adjective from 1880.

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