Definition for CA'DENCE, or CA'DEN-CY

CA'DENCE, or CA'DEN-CY, n. [Fr. cadence; Sp. and Port. cadencia; L. cadens, from cado, to fall; W. cwyzaw; Com. kodha; Arm. kuedha, or kueza; Ir. cadam, cudaim; It. cadere; Sp. caer; Port. cahir; Fr. cheoir.]

  1. A fall; a decline; a state of sinking. – Milton.
  2. A fall of the voice in reading or speaking, as at the end of a sentence; also, the falling of the voice in the general modulation of tones in reciting. In reading or speaking, a certain tone is taken, which is called the key, or key-note, on which most of the words are pronounced, and the fall of the voice below this tone is called cadence. – Encyc. The ordinary cadence is a fall of the last syllable of a sentence only.
  3. The general tone of reading verse. The cadence of one line must be a rule to that of the next; as the sound of the former must slide gently into that which follows. – Dryden.
  4. Tone; sound; as, hoarse cadence. – Milton.
  5. In music, repose; the termination of a harmonical phrase on a repose or on a perfect chord. – Encyc. Also, the manner of closing a song; embellishment at the close. – Busby.
  6. In horsemanship, an equal measure or proportion observed by a horse in all his motions. – Encyc.
  7. In heraldry, the distinction of families. – Chalmers.

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