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[tuh-noo-toh; Italian te-noo-taw] /təˈnu toʊ; Italian tɛˈnu tɔ/
Music. (of a note, chord, or rest) held to the full time value.
Origin of tenuto
1890-95; < Italian: held (past participle of tenere) < Vulgar Latin *tenūtus, for Latin tentus Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tenuto
Historical Examples
  • His tone is all through his nose, and his tenuto is like the tremulant stop on the organ.

  • tenuto—(from teneo, to hold)—a direction signifying that the tones are to be prolonged to the full value indicated by the notes.

British Dictionary definitions for tenuto


adjective, adverb
(music) (of a note) to be held for or beyond its full time value (written above a note) ¯
Word Origin
from Italian, literally: held, from tenere to hold, from Latin tenēre
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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