[sfawrt-sahn-doh; Italian sfawr-tsahn-daw]

adjective, adverb Music.

with force; emphatically.

Also forzando.

Origin of sforzando

1795–1805; < Italian, gerund of sforzare to show strength < Vulgar Latin *exfortiāre; see effort
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sforzando

Historical Examples of sforzando

  • Every note marked long in pianoforte music is therefore essentially a sforzando followed by a rapid diminuendo.

  • Again a sforzando chord rang out, again came the jarring response.

  • Victor had much difficulty in reading the notes readily and not confounding the terms adagio, presto, and sforzando.

  • So often as a Sforzando occured, he tore his arms which he had previously crossed upon his breast, with great vehemence asunder.

  • At the first sforzando he threw out his arms so wide asunder, that he knocked both the lights off the piano upon the ground.

British Dictionary definitions for sforzando


sforzato (sfɔːˈtsɑːtəʊ)

adjective, adverb

to be played with strong initial attackAbbreviation: sf


a symbol, mark, etc, such as >, written above a note, indicating this

Word Origin for sforzando

C19: from Italian, from sforzare to force, from ex- 1 + forzare, from Vulgar Latin fortiāre (unattested) to force 1
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

Word Origin and History for sforzando

"with sudden energy or impulse," 1801, from Italian sforzando, gerundive of sforza "to force" (see effort).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper