• synonyms


[ree-tuh-noo-toh; Italian ree-te-noo-taw]
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adverb, adjective
  1. (of a passage in a musical score) immediately slower.
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Origin of ritenuto

1820–30; < Italian: literally, held back, past participle of ritenere; see retain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for ritenuto


adjective, adverb music
  1. held back momentarily
  2. another term for rallentando
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Abbreviation: rit

Word Origin

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