[ luh-gah-toh; Italian le-gah-taw ]
/ ləˈgɑ toʊ; Italian lɛˈgɑ tɔ /

adjective, adverb Music.

smooth and connected; without breaks between the successive tones.
Compare staccato.

Origin of legato

1805–15; < Italian, past participle of legare < Latin ligāre to bind


non·le·ga·to, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for non-legato

  • In that emergency we should have to resort to "piecing on," and this means a jerk at every instance—equal to a non-legato.

    Piano Playing|Josef Hofmann
  • We must conclude that the indication "non-legato" finally degenerated into meaning "staccato."

  • The process of the non-legato touch, by showing contrary results, will bear me out.

    Piano Playing|Josef Hofmann

British Dictionary definitions for non-legato

/ (lɪˈɡɑːtəʊ) music /

adjective, adverb

to be performed smoothly and connectedly

noun plural -tos

  1. a style of playing in which no perceptible gaps are left between notes
  2. (as modifier)a legato passage

Word Origin for legato

C19: from Italian, literally: bound
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