noun, plural fer·ma·tas, Italian fer·ma·te [fer-mah-te] /fɛrˈmɑ tɛ/. Music.

  1. the sustaining of a note, chord, or rest for a duration longer than the indicated time value, with the length of the extension at the performer’s discretion.
  2. a symbol placed over a note, chord, or rest indicating a fermata.

noun plural -tas or -te (-tɪ)

  1. music another word for pause (def. 5)

1876, musical term, Italian, literally “stop, pause,” from fermare “to fasten, to stop,” from fermo “strong, fastened,” from Latin firmus (see firm (adj.)).

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