The meanings of cadence with which I’m most familiar have to do with poetry and music.
In poetry, cadence refers to rhythmical construction. For example, “Iambic pentameter has a cadence similar to that of common English speech.”
In music and movement, cadence is the measure of rhythm. For example, “The importance of the delayed cadence in Wagner is most easily observed by looking at his use of rests.”
In speaking, cadence is the rise and fall of the voice. For example, “What can be done to improve the cadence of a student [whose speech] sounds very choppy?”
Because rhythm is important to bodily movement, the word cadence has a clear application to sports. In horseback riding, cadence is “is the equal measure or proportion which a horse observes in all his motions when he is thoroughly managed.” In cycling, cadence refers to the speed with which the rider turns the pedals.
Now for a look at the use of the word in the context of business:
Cadence is what gives a team a feeling of demarcation, progression, resolution or flow. A pattern which allows the team to know what they are doing and when it will be done.
The purpose of a cadence is to establish a reliable and dependable capability which demonstrates a predictable capacity. Cadence gives some confidence in the upcoming work when we are triggering rather than scheduling work
[A certain business consultant] worked with our team to ensure a weekly cadence of accountability was established and effectively in place.
As this new use of cadence has not yet made its way into either OED or M-W, I can only guess what it means in these examples. I think it has something to do with making a timetable or a checklist to keep a project or service on track. Perhaps it’s a synonym for organization or routine.
Want to improve your English in five minutes a day? Get a subscription and start receiving our writing tips and exercises daily!
Keep learning! Browse the Vocabulary category, check our popular posts, or choose a related post below:
Stop making those embarrassing mistakes! Subscribe to Daily Writing Tips today!
- You will improve your English in only 5 minutes per day, guaranteed!
- Subscribers get access to our archives with 800+ interactive exercises!
- You'll also get three bonus ebooks completely free!