The word staccato originated as an Italian musical term meaning "detached or disconnected." It signifies that the notes should be played in a rapid precise manner that prevents overlaps between the separate notes. In musical notation, a staccato style is indicated by a black dot above or below the note.
The term has evolved as an adjective and adverb to describe many actions that may be performed in a rapid disconnected fashion. Staccato is frequently used to describe a particular manner of speech where the speaker delivers quick vocal outbursts. Gunfire, particularly from automatic weapons, is often referred to in these terms.