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[dih-min-yoo-en-doh] /dɪˌmɪn yuˈɛn doʊ/ Music.
adjective, adverb
gradually reducing in force or loudness; decrescendo (opposed to crescendo).
noun, plural diminuendoes.
a gradual reduction of force or loudness.
a diminuendo passage. Symbol: >.
Origin of diminuendo
1765-75; < Italian, present participle of diminuire; see diminish Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for diminuendo
Historical Examples
  • Any other country would have sulkily responded, Blakeakeakeake, in diminuendo to the end of the chapter.

    Nuts and Nutcrackers Charles James Lever
  • There were twenty paces crescendo, a pause, and then twenty diminuendo.

    Soldiers Three Rudyard Kipling
  • Carefully observe the effects of crescendo < and diminuendo >.

  • You, perhaps, do not like to play this place crescendo, but diminuendo.

    Piano and Song Friedrich Wieck
  • Here he went off, diminuendo, again, with a few flying imprecations upon several things and persons unknown.

    Jack Hinton Charles James Lever
  • The final note of "Memories" died away in a diminuendo wail, and the musician almost collapsed into Seaton's arms.

    Skylark Three Edward Elmer Smith
  • Any other country would have sulkily responded, "Blake—ake—ake—ake," in diminuendo to the end of the chapter.

    Nuts and Nutcrackers Charles James Lever
  • This injunction, given in a diminuendo cadence, was quickly obeyed, and all was silence for a moment or two.

    The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, Complete Charles James Lever (1806-1872)
  • The storming took a diminuendo note; it slackened to a throbbing murmur.

    The Lee Shore Rose Macaulay
  • He used to suggest a diminuendo by crouching down more and more, and at a pianissimo he would almost creep under the desk.

British Dictionary definitions for diminuendo


noun (pl) -dos
  1. a gradual decrease in loudness or the musical direction indicating this dim, (written over the music affected)
  2. a musical passage affected by a diminuendo
gradually decreasing in loudness
with a diminuendo
Also decrescendo
Word Origin
C18: from Italian, from diminuire to diminish
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 diminuendo

1775, from Italian diminuendo "lessening, diminishing," present participle of diminuire, from Latin deminuere (see diminish).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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