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Cadence Definition

The natural rhythm of speech - as opposed to the rhythm of meter.

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Other Cadence Definition

[n] a recurrent rhythmical series
[n] (prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse


beat, cadency, measure, meter

Misc. Definitions

\Ca"dence\, n. [OE. cadence, cadens, LL. cadentia a falling, fr. L. cadere to fall; cf. F. cadence, It. cadenza. See {Chance}.]
1. The act or state of declining or sinking. [Obs.] Now was the sun in western cadence low. --Milton.
2. A fall of the voice in reading or speaking, especially at the end of a sentence.
3. A rhythmical modulation of the voice or of any sound; as, music of bells in cadence sweet. Blustering winds, which all night long Had roused the sea, now with hoarse cadence lull Seafaring men o'erwatched. --Milton. The accents . . . were in passion's tenderest cadence. --Sir W. Scott.
4. Rhythmical flow of language, in prose or verse. Golden cadence of poesy. --Shak. If in any composition much attention was paid to the flow of the rhythm, it was said (at least in the 14th and 15th centuries) to be ``prosed in faire cadence.'' --Dr. Guest.
5. (Her.) See {Cadency}.
6. (Man.) Harmony and proportion in motions, as of a well-managed horse.
7. (Mil.) A uniform time and place in marching.
8. (Mus.) (a) The close or fall of a strain; the point of rest, commonly reached by the immediate succession of the tonic to the dominant chord. (b) A cadenza, or closing embellishment; a pause before the end of a strain, which the performer may fill with a flight of fancy. {Imperfect cadence}. (Mus.) See under {Imperfect}.
\Ca"dence\, v. t. To regulate by musical measure. These parting numbers, cadenced by my grief. --Philips.

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