crescendo [ kri- shen-doh, - sen-doh; k Italian re- shen-daw ] SHOW IPA / krɪˈʃɛn doʊ, -ˈsɛn doʊ; krɛˈʃɛn dɔ / Italian PHONETIC RESPELLING EXAMPLES | WORD ORIGIN noun, plural cre·scen·dos, cre·scen·di . [kri- shen-dee, - sen-dee; k Italian re- shen-dee] /krɪˈʃɛn di, -ˈsɛn di; krɛˈʃɛn di/ Italian . Music a gradual, steady increase in loudness or force. a musical passage characterized by such an increase. the performance of a crescendo passage: The crescendo by the violins is too abrupt. a steady increase in force or intensity: The rain fell in a crescendo on the rooftops. the climactic point or moment in such an increase; peak: The authorities finally took action when public outrage reached a crescendo. verb (used without object) to grow in force or loudness. Origin of crescendo 1770–80;
literally, growing <
to grow; see
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for crescendoed British Dictionary definitions for crescendoed noun plural -dos or -di ( -dɪ) music a gradual increase in loudness or the musical direction or symbol indicating this Abbreviation: cresc, (written over the music affected) ≺ ( as modifier) a crescendo passage a gradual increase in loudness or intensity the rising crescendo of a song a peak of noise or intensity the cheers reached a crescendo verb -does, -doing or -doed (intr) to increase in loudness or force Word Origin for crescendo
C18: from Italian, literally: increasing, from
crescere to grow, from Latin
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 crescendoed n.
1776 as a musical term, from Italian
crescendo "increasing," from Latin crescendo, ablative of gerund of crescere "to increase" (see crescent). Figurative use is from 1785. As a verb, from 1900.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Culture definitions for crescendoed
A musical direction used to indicate increasing loudness.
The term is sometimes used figuratively to indicate rising intensity in general: “As the days went on, there was a crescendo of angry letters about my speech.”
Crescendo is also sometimes misused to indicate a peak of intensity, as in, “The angry letters about my speech hit a crescendo on Wednesday.”
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.