- performed with a gliding effect by sliding one or more fingers rapidly over the keys of a piano or strings of a harp.
- a glissando passage.
- (in string playing) a slide.
Origin of glissando
1870–75; < French gliss(er) to slide + Italian -ando gerund ending
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for glissando
A glissando of joy burned his eardrums, and he could not face that living splendor.Felony
Sign,—same as a muted note, but written at the end of a glissando.
It might be added, though, that the glissando is an effect which should not be overdone.Violin Mastery
Frederick H. Martens
The glissando passages in sixths are impossible on modern instruments.Nicolo Paganini: His Life and Work
Stephen Samuel Stratton
The sudden diminuation of tone taken with a glissando gives an effect something like a short groan.
- a rapidly executed series of notes on the harp or piano, each note of which is discretely audible
- a portamento, esp as executed on the violin, viola, etc
C19: probably Italianized variant of glissade
Word Origin and History for glissando
1873, Italianized form of French glissant, present participle of glisser (see glissade).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper