Meaning of decrescendo in English:


Pronunciation /ˌdiːkrɪˈʃɛndəʊ/

nounplural noun decrescendos

  • 1A decrease in loudness in a piece of music.

    ‘Instead of merely playing the whole piece as softly as possible, we play opposite dynamics: forte where it should be piano, a decrescendo where there should be a crescendo.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the crescendos and decrescendos need to be better managed.’
    • ‘‘Dancing Raindrops’ encourages musical artistry with phrases notated with crescendo and decrescendo throughout.’
    • ‘Teaching students to discover this climax point of the phrase and focus their practice on executing a beautifully gradual crescendo / decrescendo becomes an addition to their strategies and goals.’
    • ‘Professors argue endlessly whether diminuendo or decrescendo means getting softer; others regard decrescendo as becoming softer and slower.’
    • ‘For example, Fabio Grasso has a tendency to end phrases with a dying fall; a slight ritard and decrescendo.’
    • ‘The musical phraseology was convincing, and the crescendos and decrescendos were accurately measured and performed.’
    • ‘Intonation, a command of decrescendo and true unison, and just plain running out of breath become the technical challenges singers must meet.’
    • ‘Zinman did not quite observe Elgar's arduous modulations, some within the span of a mere two-to-three bars, from crescendo and pianissimo to decrescendo and fortissimo.’
    • ‘The crescendo and decrescendos of Zacks' third track, to me, stand for the successes and failures of existence.’
    • ‘The climax occurred a little more than an hour in when John played a 10 minute version of ‘Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be A Long, Long Time) ‘that felt like it never was going to end with decrescendos and crescendos.’’
    • ‘His voice fell into a decrescendo at the climax of his argument.’
    • ‘His poor control of a decrescendo on a long, high note in the first song rings alarm bells, and his richness of timbre deserts him in Serenade florentine.’
    • ‘He played quite well, especially the wind instruments, but simply couldn't make up for all the lost musicians, and the judges finally stopped him when he started humming the decrescendos.’
    • ‘When the coyotes howl it seems they are beyond the edge of the world, surely falling… or leaping over the plate's rim, taking their sad decrescendos with them.’
    • ‘She turned it slightly, and the car started with a load roar, and then there was a decrescendo into an inviting purr… a weird combination of the traditional piston and the new-age rotary technology.’
    • ‘Wally Cardona worked reductively in a new piece titled Him, There, Them, removing production elements in each of three sections - a scenic decrescendo.’
    • ‘The acoustic instruments beautify the noise that surrounds them, and the music is almost triumphant by the time it hits its closing decrescendo.’
    • ‘I heard him ask, but his voice was just a faint decrescendo.’
    • ‘It was followed by a mournful decrescendo that filled the clearing with sadness.’
    1. 1.1A passage to be performed with a decrease in loudness.
      • ‘his poor control of a decrescendo on a long, high note rings alarm bells’


  • (especially as a direction) with a decrease in loudness.


  • Decreasing in loudness.

    • ‘the ghostly (and unaccompanied) decrescendo chorus at the work'’s end stayed in the memory’


Early 19th century Italian, literally ‘decreasing’.