glis·san·do | \gli-ˈsän-(ˌ)dō \
plural glissandi\gli-ˈsän-(ˌ)dē \ 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

Scales fly up and down, one impeccable glissando at a time, pausing briefly before climbing to the next half-step. Paul Klenk, New York Times, "‘Godfather Waltz’," 2 July 2018 Particularly striking is the third movement, packed with eerie string glissandos that set off the orgiastic climaxes that follow. John Von Rhein,, "Riccardo Muti and Yo-Yo Ma turn up the heat in an all-Russian program," 15 June 2018 Impressionistic string arpeggios, along with other rapid figures, moody thick chords and glissandi pervade much of the piece. Mark Swed,, "Salonen's 'Pollux' supplies some grunge for L.A. Phil tour," 16 Apr. 2018 Kim works within a musical philosophy that views every note and every individual articulation as alive, with glissando, attack, shape and tone as a unique and living embodiment of the music/life essence. John Adamian,, "Jin Hi Kim's One Sky II For Orchestra To Premiere At Wesleyan," 7 Apr. 2018 The waves rolling into the shore make cascades of sound, sometimes regular rhythms and sometimes duples and triples and offbeat syncopations—all set against the arpeggios and glissandos of the birds. Alan Hirshfeld, WSJ, "‘Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine’ Review: A Longing for Truth and Meaning," 6 Apr. 2018 The effect is cross between a Monet waterlily panorama and a visual glissando, like someone zipping a finger rapidly across the keys of an organ. Steven Litt,, "Akron Art Museum celebrates lyrical abstractions of Jun Kaneko in show opening today (photos)," 17 Feb. 2018 The eight-minute soundpiece draws on elements of the Polish composer’s early, avant-garde manner — here, tremolo glissandos in the strings and dense nine-part chords in the low brass — but uses them more subtly and poetically. John Von Rhein,, "CSO presents a pretty premiere as part of Muti's dervish week of pre-tour activity," 29 Sep. 2017 Her glissandos were nimble, and her fleet, 32nd-note riffs had the playfulness of a kitten swatting a ball. Barbara Jepson, WSJ, "A Soloist’s Long Awaited Return," 25 Oct. 2017

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.

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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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