- a lively, playful composition, usually in 3/4 time
- such a piece serving as a movement, typically the third movement, of a sonata, symphony, or quartet
Origin of scherzoIt, a jest, sport ; from Gmc, as in Middle High German schërz, pleasure, play, ultimately ; from Indo-European base an unverified form (s)ker-, to leap, jump from source scare, Classical Latin cardo, a hinge, turning point
nounpl. scher·zos or scher·zi
Origin of scherzoItalian, joke, scherzo, from Old Italian scherzare, to joke, perhaps of Germanic origin.
(plural scherzos or scherzi)
From Italian scherzo (“joke, play"), from scherzare (“to joke, jest") from Old Italian scherzare, from Lombardic *skerzan (“to jump merrily, enjoy oneself, jest") from Proto-Germanic *skirtanÄ… (“to hop, jump"), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kerÇd- (“to dance, jump"). Akin to Middle High German scherzen "to frolic, jump merrily, hop up and down" (German scherzen "to joke"; Scherz "joke, sport"), Norwegian skjerta "to joke".