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adverb or adjective

scher·​zan·​do skert-ˈsän-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce scherzando (audio)
: in sportive manner : playfully
used as a direction in music indicating style and tempo
allegretto scherzando


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plural scherzandos
: a passage or movement in scherzando style

Examples of scherzando in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Thus the mischief of the Allegretto scherzando was made more mischievous: Its huffy pace and hushed dialogues of oboes and flutes interrupted by scrubby strings. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 13 May 2023 The second-movement Andante scherzando had a lovely buoyancy. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 12 Apr. 2021 Parameswaran was in impressive command of the score, especially in the second movement, a scherzando dance with uneven meters and tricky cross-rhythms., 20 Aug. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'scherzando.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Adverb or adjective

Italian, from verbal of scherzare to joke, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle High German scherzen to leap for joy, joke; perhaps akin to Greek skairein to gambol

First Known Use

Adverb Or Adjective

circa 1811, in the meaning defined above


circa 1876, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of scherzando was circa 1811

Dictionary Entries Near scherzando

Cite this Entry

“Scherzando.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

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