trem·​o·​lo | \ˈtre-mə-ˌlō \
plural tremolos

Definition of tremolo 

1a : the rapid reiteration of a musical tone or of alternating tones to produce a tremulous effect

b : vocal vibrato especially when prominent or excessive

2 : a mechanical device in an organ for causing a tremulous effect

Examples of tremolo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

For example, his signature right-hand tremolo is fully established. Marc Myers, WSJ, "‘Classic Brunswick & Columbia Teddy Wilson Sessions 1934-1942’ Review: The Peacemaker of the Piano," 13 Apr. 2018 During the summer, they can be identified by their shiny black head and bill, small red eyes, and distinctive calls — tremolo, wail, yodel, and hoot. Margeaux Sippell,, "Around July Fourth, look out for loon chicks," 1 July 2018 Preamp Tubes: Increase the amplitude of the audio signal from the guitar and send it to circuits that introduce effects like reverb and tremolo. 7. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "What a Fender Amp Looks Like When You Tear It Apart," 24 Mar. 2015 The album is full of early rock and roll touches, with lots of reverb and tremolo guitars, so expect Williams to transform Johnny Brenda’s into a Twin Peaksian Roadhouse on Saturday night., "DJ Khaled, a tribute to the Beatles, Wine Pong and other things to do in Philadelphia March 23-30," 21 Mar. 2018 For example, Reyes learned Jiménez’s technique of adding a small drop of lead to a reed to change its pitch ever so slightly, creating a special tremolo vibrato effect. Daniel Sheehy, Smithsonian, "The Remarkable Rebirth of the Button Accordion," 22 Dec. 2017 Fats Domino announced himself with this single: a two-fisted boogie-woogie piano intro with tremolo flourishes, verses that establish his 200-pound physique and his New Orleans locale and a falsetto vocal like a trumpet solo. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Fats Domino Songs: Listen to 12 Essential Tracks," 25 Oct. 2017 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 The sequel, scheduled for February 2017, indeed contains intrigue, an assassination plot, gun-slinging, and a lot of confused feelings, which the as-yet-unnamed director will be sure to play up with some chiaroscuro and tremolo on the soundtrack. Chelsea Peng, Marie Claire, "'Fifty Shades' Producer to Thirsty Henry Cavill Fans: Cool Your Loins," 22 Sep. 2015

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

See More

First Known Use of tremolo

circa 1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for tremolo

Italian, from tremolo tremulous, from Latin tremulus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tremolo

Statistics for tremolo

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tremolo

The first known use of tremolo was circa 1801

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tremolo



English Language Learners Definition of tremolo

music : a musical sound made by a voice or instrument that seems to shake

More from Merriam-Webster on tremolo

See words that rhyme with tremolo Encyclopedia article about tremolo

Comments on tremolo

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


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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