[luh-gah-toh; Italian le-gah-taw]
- smooth and connected; without breaks between the successive tones.
Origin of legato
1805–15; < Italian, past participle of legare < Latin ligāre to bind
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for legato
Legato means "bound together," for which we substitute the word "connected."
Do not take the over-smart differentiations of legato seriously.
Slurs indicate either a legato touch or the grouping of the notes.
This is the device which enables the pianist to play staccato or legato.How to Appreciate Music
The basis of phrasing then, may be found in legato, sostenuto and contrast.The Head Voice and Other Problems</p>
D. A. Clippinger
- to be performed smoothly and connectedly
- a style of playing in which no perceptible gaps are left between notes
- (as modifier)a legato passage
C19: from Italian, literally: bound
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 legato
1811, from Italian legato, literally "bound," past participle of legare, from Latin ligare (see ligament). Of music to be played smoothly, without intervals.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper