[ rah-luh n-tahn-doh; Italian rahl-len-tahn-daw ]
/ ˌrɑ lənˈtɑn doʊ; Italian ˌrɑl lɛnˈtɑn dɔ /


slackening; becoming slower (used as a musical direction).

Origin of rallentando

1805–15; < Italian, gerund of rallentare to slow down; see lento
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rallentando

  • Teach yourself to make a rallentando evenly by watching the drops of water cease as you turn off a tap.

    Theodor Leschetizky|Annette Hullah
  • Evening has come; there is a twilight tinge to the music; it is "dolce," "expressione," and "rallentando."

    Stars of the Opera|Mabel Wagnalls
  • Or we can gradually increase or decrease our tempo, creating accelerando and rallentando effects.

    Irradiations; Sand and Spray|John Gould Fletcher
  • Such a rallentando effect is like the apparent pause in the rush of a river before it thunders over a precipice.

    Play-Making|William Archer

British Dictionary definitions for rallentando

/ (ˌrælɛnˈtændəʊ) /

adjective, adverb

music becoming slowerAbbreviation: rall Also: ritardando, ritenuto

Word Origin for rallentando

C19: Italian, from rallentare to slow down
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