- performed with a gliding effect by sliding one or more fingers rapidly over the keys of a piano or strings of a harp.
- a glissando passage.
- (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
A glissando of joy burned his eardrums, and he could not face that living splendor.Felony
Sign,—same as a muted note, but written at the end of a glissando.
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.
- a rapidly executed series of notes on the harp or piano, each note of which is discretely audible
- a portamento, esp as executed on the violin, viola, etc
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
1873, Italianized form of French glissant, present participle of glisser (see glissade).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper