[ dee-kri-shen-doh, dey-; Italian de-kre-shen-daw ]

adjective, adverb
  1. gradually reducing force or loudness; diminuendo (opposed to crescendo).

noun,plural de·cre·scen·dos, Italian de·cre·scen·di [de-kre-shen-dee]. /ˌdɛ krɛˈʃɛn di/.
  1. a gradual reduction in force or loudness.

  2. a decrescendo passage.

Origin of decrescendo

1800–10; <Italian, gerund of decrescere;see decrease

Words Nearby decrescendo Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use decrescendo in a sentence

  • When she had to sustain a note for a couple of bars, I was surprised at the beauty of her crescendo and decrescendo.

  • When she sustains her voice for a couple of bars, I am quite surprised at the beauty of her crescendo and decrescendo.

  • decrescendo (or diminuendo) al pianissimo means—decrease gradually in power until the pianissimo (or very soft) point is reached.

  • He made a decrescendo tinkling, and his lofty features lapsed into their normal mournfulness.

    Romance | Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • A descending passage, as a return to tranquillity, requires a decrescendo.

    For Every Music Lover | Aubertine Woodward Moore

British Dictionary definitions for decrescendo


/ (ˌdiːkrɪˈʃɛndəʊ) /

noun, adjective
  1. another word for diminuendo

Origin of decrescendo

Italian, from decrescere to decrease

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