One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A slow dance of Italian origin in 2/4 time, related to the pavane; a piece of music for this.
Mid 16th century. From Italian passamezzo (although this is first attested slightly later: 1585 as passamezo), alteration (after passa-: see pass-) of † pass' e mezzo from passo step, pace + e and (from classical Latin et) + mezzo half.
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