Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A gradual increase in the volume or intensity of sound in a passage.
  • noun A passage played with a gradual increase in volume or intensity.
  • noun A steady increase in intensity or force.
  • noun Usage Problem The climactic point or moment after such a progression.
  • adjective Gradually increasing in volume, force, or intensity.
  • adverb With a crescendo.
  • intransitive verb To build up to or reach a point of great intensity, force, or volume.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In music, gradually increasing in force or loudness; swelling. Often abbreviated to cres. or cresc., or represented by the character .
  • The swell pedal.
  • noun A passage characterized by increase of force.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • (Mus.) With a constantly increasing volume of voice; with gradually increasing strength and fullness of tone; -- a direction for the performance of music, indicated by the mark, or by writing the word on the score.
  • noun A gradual increase in the strength and fullness of tone with which a passage is performed.
  • noun A passage to be performed with constantly increasing volume of tone.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun music An instruction to play gradually more loudly, denoted by a long, narrow angle with its apex on the left ( < ).
  • noun figuratively A gradual increase of anything, especially to a dramatic climax.
  • noun figuratively, nonstandard The climax of a gradual increase.
  • verb To increase in intensity, to reach or head for a crescendo.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective gradually increasing in volume
  • noun (music) a gradual increase in loudness
  • verb grow louder

Etymologies

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

[Italian, present participle of crescere, to increase, from Latin crēscere; see ker- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowing from Italian crescendo, gerund of crescere ("to grow, to increase")

Examples

  • With a quick jerk, cataleptically, his nose pointed to the zenith, his mouth opened, and a flood of sound poured forth, running swiftly upward in crescendo and slowly falling as it died away.

    CHAPTER XXII

  • But credit continued to tighten, reaching a short-term crescendo with the near-death of Bear Stearns.

    Libor Is Down, but Don't Put Stock in That

  • With a quick jerk, cataleptically, his nose pointed to the zenith, his mouth opened, and a flood of sound poured forth, running swiftly upward in crescendo and slowly falling as it died away.

    Chapter 22

  • The crescendo is his speech at the U.N. The challenge for us is to listen closely to what he is says on Friday, and thereafter, armed with facts and history, to call-out him and other leaders when their words and actions actually jeopardize the calls for peace in which they so comfortably cloak themselves.

    Joe Cutbirth: The Discussion Ratzinger's Trip is Designed to Stop

  • Although Comrade Chief-of-Staff's passing shielded him from all this, it regrettably also denied him from experiencing the magnificent consequences of his demise: that is, the crescendo, the final revolutionary push to victory - all unleashed by the manner of his death on that fateful April morning.

    CONTENTS

  • Although Comrade Chief-of-Staff's passing shielded him from all this, it regrettably also denied him from experiencing the magnificent consequences of his demise: that is, the crescendo, the final revolutionary push to victory - all unleashed by the manner of his death on that fateful April morning.

    To know how to die

  • A crescendo is a getting louder, and it may be a getting louder from very soft to not-so-soft or from moderately loud to very loud, but it is a process.

    Italian: The Language That Sings

  • But right then, when that was happening, the threats were coming in, and it's been described as a crescendo and hair on fire and all these different things.

    CNN Transcript Apr 8, 2004

  • My way of showing Amsterdam was to work slowly up to a grand crescendo effect; and the crescendo was the Ryks Museum.

    The Chauffeur and the Chaperon

  • Most chapters also have what is known as a crescendo event, where the players must fight off the zombie horde massing upon them for a set amount of time before they can move on, normally after using something to make a path to move forward in the chapter (an early example is waiting for an elevator to arrive).

    GamesAreFun.com

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • A process of increasing intensity, NOT the climax of same!

    October 9, 2007

  • *hiding from oroboros' wrath*

    October 9, 2007