trem·​o·​lo ˈtre-mə-ˌlō How to pronounce tremolo (audio)
plural tremolos
: the rapid reiteration of a musical tone or of alternating tones to produce a tremulous effect
: vocal vibrato especially when prominent or excessive
: a mechanical device in an organ for causing a tremulous effect

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Like, sorry: tremolo, pizzicato, andante, pianissimo, forte, and more are simply horny words. Vulture, 1 May 2023 In the final section, tremolos and trills in all four instruments unpredictably shifted into new harmonies. Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Mar. 2023 Nobody had really thought of it, there’s tremolo, delay, reverb, chorus, all these things they’re already defined. Josh Chesler, SPIN, 1 Mar. 2023 Head back, his fiendish little body arched toward the lights, Mars holds the guitar straight up in front of his face and works the tremolo to make the sound of the slow-lifting gears of a Harley. Dean Kuipers, SPIN, 8 Jan. 2023 The eerie call of pint-sized Eastern screech owls sounds much more like a high-pitched warble or tremolo than a screech. Discover Magazine, 15 Sep. 2014 The guitar specs include 22 jumbo frets, a modern C neck, a five-way switch, three standard pickups and a tremolo system. Raquelle Harris, Billboard, 21 Sep. 2022 Aslan Freeman, from Lainey’s road band, established a vacillating acoustic guitar current; Rob McNelley contributed George Harrison-like twin slide guitars; and Billy Justineau offered tremolo keyboard over Fred Eltringham’s understated drum part. Tom Roland, Billboard, 14 June 2022 And the customary piccolo tremolo that used to run above the crowd noise of every comedy club—the excess laughter of the one drunk and slightly hysterical patron—had no purchase or possibility here. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 7 June 2021 See More

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

Word History


Italian, from tremolo tremulous, from Latin tremulus

First Known Use

circa 1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of tremolo was circa 1801

Dictionary Entries Near tremolo

Cite this Entry

“Tremolo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


trem·​o·​lo ˈtrem-ə-ˌlō How to pronounce tremolo (audio)
plural tremolos
: the rapid repetition of a musical tone or of alternating tones to produce a rapid wavering sound
: a mechanical device in an organ for causing a rapid wavering sound

More from Merriam-Webster on tremolo

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