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adverb or adjective

ac·​ce·​le·​ran·​do (ˌ)ä-ˌche-lə-ˈrän-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce accelerando (audio)
: gradually faster
used as a direction in music


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plural accelerandos
: a gradual increase in tempo

Examples of accelerando in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Dorman's measured accelerando in the coda sealed the deal on an outstanding performance. Zachary Lewis,, 23 Oct. 2017 Michelle Naughton was a fantastic accompanist, making the most of a minimal part, effortlessly navigating the accelerandos and ritards, always right there with Petrova. Christian Hertzog,, 9 Aug. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'accelerando.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Adverb or adjective

borrowed from Italian, literally, "accelerating," borrowed from Latin accelerandum, gerund of accelerāre "to accelerate"


noun derivative of accelerando entry 1

First Known Use

Adverb Or Adjective

1784, in the meaning defined above


1586, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of accelerando was in 1586

Dictionary Entries Near accelerando

Cite this Entry

“Accelerando.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


adverb or adjective
: gradually faster
used as a direction in music
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