tenuto

adverb or adjective
te·​nu·​to | \ tā-ˈnü-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce tenuto (audio) \

Definition of tenuto

: in a manner so as to hold a tone or chord firmly to its full value used as a direction in music

First Known Use of tenuto

1762, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tenuto

borrowed from Italian, from past participle of tenere "to hold," going back to Latin tenēre "to hold, possess" — more at tenant entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tenuto

Time Traveler for tenuto

Time Traveler

The first known use of tenuto was in 1762

See more words from the same year

Statistics for tenuto

Cite this Entry

“Tenuto.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenuto. Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

Comments on tenuto

What made you want to look up tenuto? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!