adverb or adjective
ac·​ce·​le·​ran·​do | \ (ˌ)ä-ˌche-lə-ˈrän-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce accelerando (audio) ; ik-ˌse-, (ˌ)ak- \

Definition of accelerando

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: gradually faster used as a direction in music


plural accelerandos

Definition of accelerando (Entry 2 of 2)

: a gradual increase in tempo

Examples of accelerando in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Dorman's measured accelerando in the coda sealed the deal on an outstanding performance. Zachary Lewis,, "Jeffrey Siegel celebrates Bernstein, Cleveland milestones on 30th season on 'Keyboard Conversations' (preview)," 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,, "At SummerFest, great performers in a fantastic hall celebrate 'The Heart of Hungary'," 9 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accelerando.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of accelerando

Adverb or adjective

1784, in the meaning defined above


1586, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for accelerando

Adverb or adjective

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


noun derivative of accelerando entry 1

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Time Traveler for accelerando

Time Traveler

The first known use of accelerando was in 1586

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Cite this Entry

“Accelerando.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

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