Definition of coda in US English:



  • 1The concluding passage of a piece or movement, typically forming an addition to the basic structure.

    • ‘The theme returns at the conclusion in its original scoring and a short, violent coda ends the piece.’
    • ‘The coda of the great Schubert B flat sonata was played at a breakneck pace and was technically perfect.’
    • ‘To alter the coda of that final movement is thus, by implication, to change the character of the entire work.’
    • ‘This third section has already incorporated material from earlier in the movement and the coda extends this process.’
    • ‘At times, as in the coda of the first movement, the emotional release is transcendental.’
    appendix, addendum, end matter, tailpiece, codicil, rider, postscript, addition, extension, sequel
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    1. 1.1 The concluding section of a dance, especially of a pas de deux or the finale of a ballet in which the dancers parade before the audience.
      • ‘A 16-year-old from North Carolina danced the variation and coda from the Don Quixote pas de deux.’
      • ‘We added an opening to include angels, and the hoops and Russian dance were also added, along with a closing coda.’
      • ‘The short coda was another aerial ballet, after which the couple, yielding to the laws of gravity, returned to earth.’
      • ‘The program ended with a free-spirited coda by all the dancers doing this, that, and especially the other, all with happy bravura and to Tchaikovsky.’
      • ‘She completed the difficult series of fouettes in the coda of the Black Swan pas de deux which even more senior ballerinas sometimes cannot manage as well.’
      finale, final scene, final act, last act, epilogue, end, ending, finish, close
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    2. 1.2 A concluding event, remark, or section.
      ‘his new novel is a kind of coda to his previous books’
      • ‘The extended coda to that scene and its aftermath was very well played, showing earlier events from a different perspective.’
      • ‘The entertainment correspondent is one of 12 climbers setting their sights on conquering the summit as a dramatic coda to a gruelling expedition.’
      • ‘The sad coda to this event is that, a mere five months later, this disaster is already a fading memory.’
      • ‘The foreign minister added a coda to his colleague's remarks by urging a spirit of compromise in accession negotiations.’
      • ‘In a coda to this collection, he states, ‘Writers thrive with patient, supportive, kindly publishers - and editors.’’


Mid 18th century: Italian, from Latin cauda ‘tail’.