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[rah-luh n-tahn-doh; Italian rahl-len-tahn-daw] /ˌrɑ lənˈtɑn doʊ; Italian ˌrɑl lɛnˈtɑn dɔ/
slackening; becoming slower (used as a musical direction).
Origin of rallentando
1805-15; < Italian, gerund of rallentare to slow down; see lento Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for rallentando
Historical Examples
  • Evening has come; there is a twilight tinge to the music; it is "dolce," "expressione," and "rallentando."

    Stars of the Opera Mabel Wagnalls
  • Or we can gradually increase or decrease our tempo, creating accelerando and rallentando effects.

    Irradiations; Sand and Spray John Gould Fletcher
  • Teach yourself to make a rallentando evenly by watching the drops of water cease as you turn off a tap.

    Theodor Leschetizky Annette Hullah
  • Such a rallentando effect is like the apparent pause in the rush of a river before it thunders over a precipice.

    Play-Making William Archer
British Dictionary definitions for rallentando


adjective, adverb
(music) becoming slower rall Also ritardando, ritenuto
Word Origin
C19: Italian, from rallentare to slow down
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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