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glissando

[gli-sahn-doh]Music.
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adjective
  1. performed with a gliding effect by sliding one or more fingers rapidly over the keys of a piano or strings of a harp.
noun, plural glis·san·di [gli-sahn-dee] /glɪˈsɑn di/.
  1. a glissando passage.
  2. (in string playing) a slide.

Origin of glissando

1870–75; < French gliss(er) to slide + Italian -ando gerund ending
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for glissando

Historical Examples

  • A glissando of joy burned his eardrums, and he could not face that living splendor.

    Felony

    James Causey

  • Sign,—same as a muted note, but written at the end of a glissando.

    The Tinguian

    Fay-Cooper Cole

  • It might be added, though, that the glissando is an effect which should not be overdone.

    Violin Mastery

    Frederick H. Martens

  • The glissando passages in sixths are impossible on modern instruments.

    Nicolo Paganini: His Life and Work

    Stephen Samuel Stratton

  • The sudden diminuation of tone taken with a glissando gives an effect something like a short groan.

    The Tinguian

    Fay-Cooper Cole


British Dictionary definitions for glissando

glissando

noun plural -di (-diː) or -dos
  1. a rapidly executed series of notes on the harp or piano, each note of which is discretely audible
  2. a portamento, esp as executed on the violin, viola, etc

Word Origin

C19: probably Italianized variant of glissade
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

Word Origin and History for glissando

n.

1873, Italianized form of French glissant, present participle of glisser (see glissade).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper