AskDefine | Define crescendo

Dictionary Definition

crescendo adj : gradually increasing in volume n : (music) a gradual increase in loudness v : grow louder; "The music crescendoes here" [ant: decrescendo] [also: crescendi (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Crescendo



Italian crescendo, gerund of crescere, to grow, to increase


  • kɹəˈʃɛn.dʊ
  • Hyphenation: cres·cen·do


  1. An instruction to play gradually more loudly, denoted by a long, narrow angle with its apex on the left. Abbreviation: cresc. Symbol <
  2. A gradual increase of anything, especially to a dramatic climax.
    Their fighting rose in a fearsome crescendo.
  3. In the context of "figuratively|nonstandard": The climax of a gradual increase.
    Their arguing rose to a fearsome crescendo.


Usage notes

  • The musical sense indicates that the figurative sense is an increase rather than the climax of the increase. The use of this word to mean the climax of an increase is nonstandard but commonplace.






  1. crescendo
  2. crescendo




Extensive Definition

Crescendo, in musical notation, refers to a passage of music during which the volume gradually increases.
It also may mean:
In music
  • A Liverpool based electronic pop band
  • Crescendo International, a network of Christian classical music professionals and students
  • Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue, one of Duke Ellington's longer-form compositions
  • Insanity's Crescendo, a song by Dark Tranquillity
  • The Crescendos, an early rock and roll group
  • A lyric in "Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jackson, King of pop
In film
In computing
In languages other than English
crescendo in German: Crescendo
crescendo in Spanish: Crescendo (desambiguación)
crescendo in French: Crescendo
crescendo in Japanese: クレッシェンド

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

a cappella, abbandono, access, accession, accrescendo, accretion, accrual, accrue, accruement, accumulate, accumulation, acme, adagietto, adagio, add to, addition, adjunct, advance, affettuoso, aggrandize, aggrandizement, agilmente, agitato, allegretto, allegro, amabile, amoroso, ampliation, amplification, amplify, andante, andantino, apex, apogee, appassionatamente, appassionato, appreciate, appreciation, ascent, augment, augmentation, awake the dead, balloon, ballooning, blast, blast the ear, bloat, bloating, blow up, boom, boost, breed, brillante, broaden, broadening, build, build up, buildup, bulk, bulk out, capriccioso, capstone, climax, con affetto, con agilita, con agitazione, con amore, crash, crest, culmen, culmination, deafen, decrescendo, deployment, develop, development, dilate, diminuendo, din, dispersion, distend, dolce, edema, elevation, enlarge, enlargement, expand, expansion, extend, extension, fanning out, fill out, fill the air, flare, flood, forte, fortissimo, fullness, gain, gain strength, get ahead, go up, greaten, greatening, grow, growth, gush, hike, hike up, hiking, huff, increase, increment, inflate, inflation, intensify, intensity, jump, lamentabile, larghetto, larghissimo, largo, leap, legato, leggiero, loudishness, loudness, magnification, magnify, marcando, meridian, morendo, mount, mounting, multiplication, multiply, parlando, peak, peal, pianissimo, piano, pizzicato, prestissimo, presto, productiveness, proliferate, proliferation, puff, puff up, pump, pump up, raise, raising, rallentando, rarefy, rattle the windows, rend the air, rend the ears, resound, ring, rise, ritardando, ritenuto, rock the sky, run up, scherzando, scherzo, scherzoso, shoot up, snowball, snowballing, sonority, sonorousness, sordo, sotto voce, spiccato, splay, split the eardrums, split the ears, spread, spreading, staccato, startle the echoes, strengthen, stretch, stretto, stun, sufflate, surge, surge of sound, swell, swelling, thunder, tremolando, tremoloso, trillando, tumefy, tumescence, up, upping, upsurge, upswing, uptrend, upturn, volume, wax, waxing, widen, widening
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