Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. Music Slowing gradually. Used chiefly as a direction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Alternative form of rallentando.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Slackening; retarding. Same as rallentando.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In music, slackening; retarding: a direction to sing or play with increasing slowness the notes over which it is written.

Etymologies

Italian, present participle of lentare, to make slow, from lento, slow; see lento.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Italian, present participle of lentare to make slow. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Back in the 18th century they often used the term lentando, and even today there are a number of directions that mean roughly the same thing, the closest being ritardando, and also ritenuto, which generally implies a more sudden slowdown.

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