[ uh-dah-joh, -zhee-oh; Italian ah-dah-jaw ]
/ əˈdɑ dʒoʊ, -ʒiˌoʊ; Italian ɑˈdɑ dʒɔ /


Music. in a leisurely manner; slowly.


Music. slow.

noun, plural a·da·gios.

Music. an adagio movement or piece.
  1. a sequence of well-controlled, graceful movements performed as a display of skill.
  2. a duet by a man and a woman or mixed trio emphasizing difficult technical feats.
  3. (especially in ballet) a love-duet sequence in a pas de deux.

Origin of adagio

1740–50; < Italian, for ad agio at ease; agio < Old Provençal ais or Old French aise (see ease) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for adagio

British Dictionary definitions for adagio


/ (əˈdɑːdʒɪˌəʊ, Italian aˈdadʒo) music /

adjective, adverb

(to be performed) slowly

noun plural -gios

a movement or piece to be performed slowly
ballet a slow section of a pas de deux

Word Origin for adagio

C18: Italian, from ad at + agio ease
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 adagio



c.1746, "slowly, leisurely," Italian, from ad agio, from ad "to, at" (see ad-) + agio "leisure," from Vulgar Latin adjacens, present participle of adjacere "to lie at, to lie near" (cf. adjacent). In musical sense of "a slow movement" (n.), first attested 1784.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for adagio


[ (uh-dah-joh, uh-dah-zhee-oh) ]

A very slow musical tempo.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.