Definition of crescendo in English:


Pronunciation /krəˈSHenˌdō/ /krəˈʃɛnˌdoʊ/

Translate crescendo into Spanish

nouncrescendos, crescendi

  • 1The loudest point reached in a gradually increasing sound.

    ‘the port engine's sound rose to a crescendo’
    • ‘the roar of the crowd reaches a crescendo’
    1. 1.1A gradually increasing sound.
      ‘a crescendo of shrieks built until the entire auditorium was filled’
      • ‘he faced a crescendo of boos every time he touched the ball’
  • 2The highest point reached in a progressive increase of intensity.

    • ‘the hysteria reached a crescendo around the spring festival’
    peak, pinnacle, height, high point, highest point, summit, top
    1. 2.1A progressive increase in intensity.
      ‘there were six months of gradual crescendo then three weeks of total mayhem’
      • ‘a crescendo of misery’
      peak, pinnacle, height, high point, highest point, summit, top
  • 3Music
    A gradual increase in loudness in a piece of music.

    • ‘each time the key changes, there is a gradual crescendo’
    1. 3.1A passage of music marked or performed with a crescendo.


  • With a gradual increase in loudness.

    ‘in the upper three parts there are groups of longer notes played crescendo’
    • ‘Each goal is honoured with the crescendo beat of drums and the noise is increased by the cheers of the successful party.’
    • ‘Reversing the crescendo pattern used by so many instrumental bands, the song begins with booming drums and layers of distorted bass, high-end guitars, and uplifting piano.’


  • Gradually increasing in loudness.

    • ‘a short crescendo kettledrum roll’

intransitive verbcrescendoes, crescendoing, crescendoed

[no object]
  • Increase in loudness or intensity.

    ‘the reluctant cheers began to crescendo’
    • ‘More laughter from the audience, which crescendoed as Kelly began actually discussing the things, in terms of their visual history and morphology.’
    • ‘It's also there in the way he ends notes in the verses, crescendoing and pitching up and then choking them off suddenly, cutting the sound short.’
    • ‘Soon, the faint pitter-patter crescendoed into the staccato of heavy drops falling on Heinrich's poncho.’
    • ‘The drums boomed, the bass often got lost in the mix under dueling guitars, and the dueling guitars crescendoed.’
    • ‘A chorus of male voices rose above the din, crescendoing, singing ‘Jezebel’ in ringing tones that deafened the room with awe.’
    • ‘The advisor started chuckling softly to himself, and it grew and crescendoed into the same maniacal laughter that was coming out of the priestess's mouth far away.’
    • ‘Jonas's voice crescendoed steadily with every word.’
    • ‘Murmuring broke out and crescendoed into pandemonium.’
    • ‘The horse's gait changed to a gallop, and the muffled rhythm of the hoof beats crescendoed until they were uncannily loud and hollow.’
    • ‘The song crescendoed, and they both closed their eyes.’
    • ‘My voice crescendoed into a yell slowly throughout my speech, bringing up memories of events that I'd overcome.’
    • ‘Her voice started low, hardly audible, but slowly crescendoed as the temperature of the room dropped.’
    • ‘It crescendoed and tipped off at an intensely sharp note.’
    • ‘His voice, at first, had been soft but soon crescendoed into a bellow.’
    • ‘We waited a few seconds in silence, before we heard rhythmic footsteps crescendoing as a dim, short outline approached the door.’
    • ‘When motorized sounds roared and heavy gunfire crescendoed, he ran, so I ran too.’
    • ‘She heard voices crescendo until the words were finally understandable.’
    • ‘This will be almost falsetto but will have enough heaviness to enable the singer to crescendo smoothly.’
    • ‘As the music evolved, each harmonic would crescendo but no harmonic would crescendo any louder than another.’
    • ‘The drumming of his fingers matched the rain in a crescendoing concerto.’


Late 18th century Italian, present participle of crescere ‘to increase’, from Latin crescere ‘grow’.