adverb or adjective
for·​tis·​si·​mo | \ fȯr-ˈti-sə-ˌmō How to pronounce fortissimo (audio) \

Definition of fortissimo

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: very loud used especially as a direction in music


plural fortissimos or fortissimi\ fȯr-​ˈti-​sə-​ˌmē How to pronounce fortissimi (audio) \

Definition of fortissimo (Entry 2 of 2)

: a very loud passage, sound, or tone

Examples of fortissimo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In hard-rock fashion, some of his scores were so loud that fortissimo was said to be marked with six F’s, instead of the usual two., "Christopher Rouse, expressionistic composer who won Pulitzer Prize, dies at 70 - The Boston Globe," 28 Sep. 2019 In hard-rock fashion, some of his scores were so loud that fortissimo was said to be marked with six Fs, instead of the usual two. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Christopher Rouse, expressionistic composer who won Pulitzer Prize, dies at 70," 22 Sep. 2019 Vanska seemed determined to emphasize the extremes with large leaps from fortissimo to pianissimo and back, moments of dancing in sunlight quickly enshrouded in thunderous clouds. Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities, "Review: Emotional extremes fill Minnesota Orchestra’s season-closing Mahler," 13 June 2019 But nowhere is the effort playing at fortissimo like in Royal Oak. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Old pianos set to spend summer on streets of downtown Royal Oak," 30 May 2018 Deneve managed balances perfectly, keeping the 100 or so players reined in where necessary but also allowing them the satisfaction of letting the fortissimo passages have their full strength. Special To The Plain Dealer,, "Cleveland Orchestra strikes musical gold with Deneve, Vinikour (review)," 23 Mar. 2018 This ensemble builds gradually to a fortissimo climax, yet Norma is expected to send her voice — with its most shining brilliance and power — soaring above the din. James Jorden, New York Times, "Hear What Makes ‘Norma’ the Everest of Opera," 20 Sep. 2017 The piece was appealing, with unexpected clamoring from brass and gong, the fortissimo climax spiraling, like sparks, into nothingness. Libby Hanssen,, "Kansas City Symphony’s Classical Series finale exudes power, flexibility," 17 June 2017 BOSTON -- Unkind thoughts, expressed by spectators in a fortissimo tone to superstars, occur occasionally, even at home, particularly after poor performances. Bill Livingston,, "Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James vs. the Boston hecklers: Bill Livingston (photos)," 24 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fortissimo.' 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 fortissimo

Adverb or adjective

1724, in the meaning defined above


1856, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fortissimo

Adverb or adjective

Italian, superlative of forte

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Time Traveler for fortissimo

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The first known use of fortissimo was in 1724

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Cite this Entry

“Fortissimo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

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How to pronounce fortissimo (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fortissimo

music : very loudly

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