Definition and background:
A directive to a bowed string instrument performer that the indicated notes are to be plucked with the fingers rather than bowed ( arco). The abbreviation for this term is pizz. pinched, plucked; i.e., in music for bowed strings, plucked with the fingers as opposed to played with the bow; compare arco (in this list), which is inserted to cancel a pizzicato instructiona direction to performers on string instruments to pluck the strings. A return to the use of the bow is indicated by the word 'arco', bow. Pizzicato notes on the violin, viola and cello are normally plucked with the index finger of the right hand. the great violinist Paganini, however, introduced the technique of left-hand pizzicato for occasional use, notably in one of the variations of his 24th caprice, where it produces a very special effect.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary