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

  • adv. With gradually diminishing force or loudness. Used chiefly as a direction.
  • n. A gradual decrease in force or loudness.
  • n. A decrescendo passage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An instruction to play gradually more softly.
  • v. To gradually become quieter
  • adj. becoming quieter gradually.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • With decreasing volume of sound; -- a direction to performers, either written upon the staff (abbreviated Dec., or Decresc.), or indicated by the sign.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In music, a gradual diminution of force; a passing from loud to soft: opposed to crescendo, and the same as diminuendo: often indicated by decres., dec., or the sign ⟩.

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

  • adj. gradually decreasing in volume
  • n. (music) a gradual decrease in loudness
  • v. grow quieter


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

Italian, gerund of decrescere, to decrease, from Latin dēcrēscere; see decrease.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Italian decrescendo.


  • The scene, she explains is a decrescendo, the denouement of everything that has happened before it; the build up and heyday of Rome; these women becoming trophy brides, the beautiful houses, clothes and hairdos - and it all falls apart.

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  • Freedom feeds fillip and flames of frenzy in a few freak cases, but if it reaches a more feverish frequency, somebody ought to remind those folks to tone down their rhetorical crescendo to a decrescendo level.

    Pelosi gets emotional about political climate

  • My husband says our name for each other over and over, in a slow decrescendo.

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  • Grandpa Favre’ s play as the season wears is known to decrescendo, and this has already been one of the southern slinger’ s worst outings in his illustrious career.

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  • The cry of birds grew faint, a rapid decrescendo to something less than a whisper.

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  • In The Apple in the Dark, written in Chevy Chase, Maryland, just before she left her marriage, a black humor, conveyed through decrescendo and juxtaposition, is the offsetting fruit:

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  • Perhaps most easily observed, is Obama's way of ending statements with a decrescendo – settling his statement into a soft landing in the deeper part of his baritone range.

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  • In Mozart's dark-hued Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, Mr. Tao showed appealing freshness in his use of telling, expressive details that distinguish one interpretation from the next -- a slight decrescendo here, a change of tonal color there, a heartfelt response to the piece.

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  • And a crescendo and decrescendo wave of "Awwwwwwww!" as the ball shoots under the crossbar.

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  • Still there are signs Coulter's career might be on decrescendo judging from the melodramatic and dated tone to her new bestseller, If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd be Republicans.

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