Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

crescendo

play
noun cre·scen·do \krə-ˈshen-(ˌ)dō\

Simple Definition of crescendo

  • : a gradual increase in the loudness of a sound or section of music

  • : the highest or loudest point of something that increases gradually

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of crescendo

plural crescendos also crescendoes or crescendiplay \-dē\

  1. 1 a :  a gradual increase; specifically :  a gradual increase in volume of a musical passage b :  the peak of a gradual increase :  climax <complaints about stifling smog conditions reach a crescendoDown Beat>

  2. 2 :  a crescendo musical passage

crescendo intransitive verb

Examples of crescendo in a sentence

  1. The noise rose to a crescendo.

  2. <their divorce was merely the formal crescendo of a long period of marital stress and estrangement>



Illustration of crescendo

Origin of crescendo

Italian, from crescendo, adjective, increasing, gerund of crescere to grow, increase, from Latin


First Known Use: 1775


2

crescendo

adverb or adjective cre·scen·do

Definition of crescendo

  1. :  with an increase in volume —used as a direction in music



1807

First Known Use of crescendo

1807


CRESCENDO Defined for Kids

crescendo

play
noun cre·scen·do \kri-ˈshen-dō\

Definition of crescendo for Students

plural crescendos

  1. :  a gradual increase in the loudness of music



Word Root of crescendo

The Latin word crēscere, meaning “to grow,” gives us the root cresc or cre. Words from the Latin crēscere have something to do with growing. To increase is to grow greater in size or amount. To decrease is to grow smaller in size or amount. A crescendo in music is when the volume slowly grows louder.



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up crescendo? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by propriety and good taste

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

prompt oily maudlin angry
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ