1. Music Cut short crisply; detached: staccato octaves.
2. Marked by or composed of abrupt, disconnected parts or sounds: staccato applause.
n. pl. stac·ca·tos or stac·ca·ti (-tē)
A staccato manner or sound.
[Italian, past participle of staccare, to detach, short for distaccare, from obsolete French destacher, from Old French destachier; see DETACH.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.