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[dee-kri-shen-doh, dey-; Italian de-kre-shen-daw] /ˌdi krɪˈʃɛn doʊ, ˌdeɪ-; Italian ˌdɛ krɛˈʃɛn dɔ/ Music.
adjective, adverb
gradually reducing force or loudness; diminuendo (opposed to crescendo).
noun, plural decrescendos Italian, decrescendi
[de-kre-shen-dee] /ˌdɛ krɛˈʃɛn di/ (Show IPA)
a gradual reduction in force or loudness.
a decrescendo passage.
Origin of decrescendo
1800-10; < Italian, gerund of decrescere; see decrease Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for decrescendo
Historical Examples
  • A descending passage, as a return to tranquillity, requires a decrescendo.

    For Every Music Lover Aubertine Woodward Moore
  • He made a decrescendo tinkling, and his lofty features lapsed into their normal mournfulness.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • decrescendo (or diminuendo) al pianissimo means—decrease gradually in power until the pianissimo (or very soft) point is reached.

  • When she had to sustain a note for a couple of bars, I was surprised at the beauty of her crescendo and decrescendo.

  • When she sustains her voice for a couple of bars, I am quite surprised at the beauty of her crescendo and decrescendo.

British Dictionary definitions for decrescendo


noun, adjective
another word for diminuendo
Word Origin
Italian, from decrescere to decrease
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for decrescendo

1806, from Italian decrescendo, from Latin decrescere (see decrease (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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