[roo-bah-toh; Italian roo-bah-taw]Music.
- having certain notes arbitrarily lengthened while others are correspondingly shortened, or vice versa.
- a rubato phrase or passage.
- a rubato performance.
- in a rubato manner.
Origin of rubato
1880–85; < Italian (tempo) rubato stolen (time), past participle of rubare to steal < Germanic; see rob
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for rubato
In it he would no doubt have given many valuable hints regarding the correct use of the rubato.
Mendelssohn, who always liked a "nice, swift tempo," repeatedly expressed his aversion to Chopin's rubato.
Those who have entered into the spirit of Chopins works will easily see when to use the rubato.Frederic Chopin, Vol II (of 2)
Rubato is necessary in emotional music and is an excellent means of picturing longing, persuading, dreaming, et cetera.Essentials in Conducting
Karl Wilson Gehrkens
It might be said that this dramatic rubato is something different from Chopin's rubato.
- flexibility of tempo in performance
- to be played with a flexible tempo
C19: from the Italian phrase tempo rubato, literally: stolen time, from rubare to rob
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 rubato
musical instruction, 1883, Italian, short for tempo rubato, literally "robbed time," from past participle of rubare "to steal, rob" (see rob (v.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper