from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A tremolo effect, such as that produced on the piano by vibratory repetition of a note with sustained use of the pedal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A certain pulsation or trembling effect given to a sustained note, in either vocal or instrumental music, for the sake of expression.
  • n. Specifically— An effect produced upon the obsolete clavichord by balancing the finger on the key so as slightly to rub the tangent against the string and thus prolong the tone with a gentle pulsation.
  • n. An effect, common in violin-playing, produced by rocking the finger of the left hand in stopping a string so as to produce a slight waver or tremolo in the pitch.
  • n. An effect in singing produced by a slight unsteadiness in the breath so as to cause a waver both in pitch and in resonance. See tremolo and vibrato.


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  • Railroad telegraphers' shorthand meaning "Can do better (by)". --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 20, 2013