[ kuh n-tin-yoo-oh ]
/ kənˈtɪn yuˌoʊ /

noun, plural con·tin·u·os. Music.

a keyboard accompanying part consisting originally of a figured bass, which in modern scores is usually realized, and serving to provide or fill out the harmonic texture.

Origin of continuo

1715–25; < Italian: literally, continuous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for continuo

British Dictionary definitions for continuo


/ (kənˈtɪnjʊˌəʊ) /

noun plural -os

  1. a shortened form of basso continuoSee thorough bass
  2. (as modifier)a continuo accompaniment
the thorough-bass part as played on a keyboard instrument, often supported by a cello, bassoon, etc

Word Origin for continuo

Italian, literally: continuous
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