[ree-tuh-noo-toh; Italian ree-te-noo-taw]

adverb, adjective

(of a passage in a musical score) immediately slower.

Origin of ritenuto

1820–30; < Italian: literally, held back, past participle of ritenere; see retain
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British Dictionary definitions for ritenuto


adjective, adverb music

held back momentarily
another term for rallentando
Abbreviation: rit

Word Origin for ritenuto

C19: from Italian, from past participle of ritenere, from Latin retinēre to hold back
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