[ gli-sahn-doh ]

  1. performed with a gliding effect by sliding one or more fingers rapidly over the keys of a piano or strings of a harp.

noun,plural glis·san·di [gli-sahn-dee]. /glɪˈsɑn di/.
  1. a glissando passage.

  2. (in string playing) a slide.

Origin of glissando

1870–75; <French gliss(er) to slide + Italian -ando gerund ending Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use glissando in a sentence

  • The piano in it is put to various uses, with a fill of glissandi matching the diabolic mood.

    Franz Liszt | James Huneker

British Dictionary definitions for glissando


/ (ɡlɪˈsændəʊ) /

nounplural -di (-diː) or -dos
  1. a rapidly executed series of notes on the harp or piano, each note of which is discretely audible

  2. a portamento, esp as executed on the violin, viola, etc

Origin of glissando

C19: probably Italianized variant of glissade

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