crescendo

noun
cre·​scen·​do | \ krə-ˈshen-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce crescendo (audio) \
plural crescendos also crescendoes or crescendi\ krə-​ˈshen-​dē How to pronounce crescendi (audio) \

Definition of crescendo

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a gradual increase a crescendo of excitement 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 : a crescendo musical passage

Definition of crescendo (Entry 2 of 2)

: with an increase in volume used as a direction in music

Illustration of crescendo

Illustration of crescendo

Noun

mark indicating crescendo 2

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from crescendo

Noun

crescendo intransitive verb

Examples of crescendo in a Sentence

Noun

The noise rose to a crescendo. their divorce was merely the formal crescendo of a long period of marital stress and estrangement

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The iPadOS demo at WWDC reached a kind of crescendo when a virtual thumb drive appeared on the giant screen behind Federighi, illustrating that the Files app on iPad will now recognize external drives and devices. Lauren Goode, WIRED, "iPadOS Isn't Just a Name. It's a New Direction for Apple," 9 June 2019 The deal buzz in Beverly Hills reached a crescendo in the past week as insiders speculate about a possible combination of the rival agencies. Rebecca Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, "UTA-Paradigm Deal Chatter Heats Up as Agencies Feel Urge to Merge," 7 June 2019 But since President Donald Trump introduced sweeping new restrictions on trade with Iran last year, raising tensions with Tehran that reached a crescendo in recent days, Iran’s ability to finance allies like Hezbollah has been curtailed. Suzan Haidamous, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s sanctions on Iran are hitting Hezbollah hard," 18 May 2019 With our burgeoning burnout culture and the alarming rise of chronic conditions, the collective desire for a more holistic approach to health care has reached a crescendo. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Inside the New York Wellness Space That Could Be the Future of Primary Care," 30 Jan. 2019 Media mentions and Google searches reached a crescendo that almost exactly mirrored bitcoin’s peak. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Bitcoin Wasn’t a Bubble Until It Was," 14 Dec. 2018 The acoustics worked, with the choir’s robust tones complimenting Leto’s raspy crescendo. Jessi Roti, chicagotribune.com, "Jared Leto's 'Mars Across America' stops at Willis Tower Skydeck," 4 Apr. 2018 The iconic crescendo three minutes in is a staggering and gut-wrenching hymnal of everlasting love. Natalie Maher, Harper's BAZAAR, "15 Love Songs That Will Sweep You Off Your Feet the Moment You Press Play," 9 Jan. 2019 The floor, and the bodies on it, vibrated with each musical crescendo; projected patterns resembling the Northern Lights swirled on the ceiling. Eviana Hartman, Vogue, "Sigur Rós Is Doing Sound Baths Now—And You Can Recreate Them at Home," 6 Feb. 2019

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

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First Known Use of crescendo

Noun

1775, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb or adjective

1807, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crescendo

Noun

borrowed from Italian, noun derivative of crescendo "increasing," gerund of crescere "to increase, grow," going back to Latin crēscere "to come into existence, increase in size or numbers" — more at crescent entry 1

Adverb or adjective

borrowed from Italian — more at crescendo entry 1

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Statistics for crescendo

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crescendo

The first known use of crescendo was in 1775

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More Definitions for crescendo

crescendo

noun

English Language Learners 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

crescendo

noun
cre·​scen·​do | \ kri-ˈshen-dō How to pronounce crescendo (audio) \
plural crescendos

Kids Definition of crescendo

: a gradual increase in the loudness of music

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More from Merriam-Webster on crescendo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crescendo

Spanish Central: Translation of crescendo

Nglish: Translation of crescendo for Spanish Speakers

Comments on crescendo

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