glis·​san·​do | \ gli-ˈsän-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce glissando (audio) \
plural glissandi\ gli-​ˈsän-​(ˌ)dē How to pronounce glissando (audio) \ or glissandos

Definition of glissando

: a rapid sliding up or down the musical scale

Examples of glissando in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The ending of the first movement makes clear Britten’s awareness of this aesthetic dichotomy, with a cello glissando ascent through the harmonic series, an acoustic phenomenon literally at the core of western ideas of musical consonance and harmony. San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Apr. 2022 Weilerstein kept her listeners on tenterhooks, braced for the next bout loosely symbolizing marital tension or the next soaring glissando installing a sense of calm, yearning, or loneliness. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, 15 Oct. 2021 Its 30-second countdown has become synonymous with any deadline pressure, with a wood block timekeeper and a harp glissando finish as well as pizzicato strings at the very end. New York Times, 8 Nov. 2020 In the score, these processes of obliteration are mimicked in distortions of instrumental voices: coarse attacks, underblown and overblown notes, tongue slaps, glissandos, all manner of scraping and scrubbing sounds in the percussion. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 27 Apr. 2020 That sound was the central element of the work, written for string quartet, and Merivale kept it interesting by continually varying the nature, tempo, range and instrumentation of each glissando. Howard Reich,, 8 Oct. 2019 Some of these events recurred, like glissandos, playing on the bridge, and furiously bowed tremolos. San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Aug. 2019 Whose soul doesn’t soar at the sound of that remarkable opening, with its clarinet glissando? Will Friedwald, WSJ, 21 Aug. 2018 This inspired some of the others to cry out as well, until the room rang with the crisscrossing glissandos of primate music. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, 18 Oct. 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of glissando

circa 1854, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for glissando

probably modification of French glissade

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The first known use of glissando was circa 1854

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Cite this Entry

“Glissando.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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