Etymology
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fermata (n.)

1876, musical term indicating a pause or hold, Italian, literally "a stop, a pause," from fermare "to fasten, to stop," from fermo "strong, fastened," from Latin firmus "strong; stable" (from suffixed form of PIE root *dher- "to hold firmly, support").

updated on January 28, 2018

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Definitions of fermata from WordNet

fermata (n.)
a musical notation (over a note or chord or rest) that indicates it is to be prolonged by an unspecified amount;
fermata (n.)
(music) a prolongation of unspecified length on a note or chord or rest;
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.