• synonyms


[tuh-noo-toh; Italian te-noo-taw]
  1. Music. (of a note, chord, or rest) held to the full time value.
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Origin of tenuto

1890–95; < Italian: held (past participle of tenere) < Vulgar Latin *tenūtus, for Latin tentus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tenuto

Historical Examples

  • His tone is all through his nose, and his tenuto is like the tremulant stop on the organ.

    Life Of Mozart, Vol. 2 (of 3)

    Otto Jahn

  • Tenuto—(from teneo, to hold)—a direction signifying that the tones are to be prolonged to the full value indicated by the notes.

British Dictionary definitions for tenuto


adjective, adverb
  1. music (of a note) to be held for or beyond its full time valueSymbol: (written above a note) ¯
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Word Origin

from Italian, literally: held, from tenere to hold, from Latin tenēre
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