- The definition of crescendo is something that gradually gets louder.
An example of crescendo is a part of a song where the volume increases gradually.
- Crescendo is defined as something, such as music, that gradually gets louder or more intense.
An example of a crescendo is a part of a song that gradually gets louder.
- To crescendo means to gradually grow in volume or intensity.
An example of crescendo is when a song starts gradually getting louder.
Origin: Italian gerund, gerundive of crescere: see crescent
- a gradual increase in loudness
- a crescendo passage
- any gradual increase in force, intensity, etc.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun pl. cres·cen·dos or cres·cen·di
- Abbr. cr. Music a. A gradual increase, especially in the volume or intensity of sound in a passage.b. A passage played with a gradual increase in volume or intensity.
- a. A steady increase in intensity or force: “insisted [that] all paragraphs … should be structured as a crescendo rising to a climactic last sentence” (Henry A. Kissinger).b. Usage Problem The climactic point or moment after such a progression: “The attacks … began in December … and reached a crescendo during [the president's] September visit” (Foreign Affairs).
Origin: Italian, present participle of crescere, to increase, from Latin crēscere; see ker-2 in Indo-European roots.Usage Note: Crescendo is sometimes used by reputable speakers and writers to denote a climax or peak, as in noise level, rather than an increase. Although citational evidence over time attests to widespread currency, it is difficult for anyone acquainted with the technical musical sense of crescendo to use it to mean “a peak.” Fifty-five percent of the Usage Panel rejected it in the sentence When the guard sank a three-pointer to tie the game, the noise of the crowd reached a crescendo.
crescendo - Cultural Definition
A musical direction used to indicate increasing loudness.
- The term is sometimes used figuratively to indicate rising intensity in general: “As the days went on, there was a crescendo of angry letters about my speech.” Crescendo is also sometimes misused to indicate a peak of intensity, as in, “The angry letters about my speech hit a crescendo on Wednesday.”