Definition of col legno in English:

col legno

adverb

  • (of a passage of music for a bowed instrument) played by hitting the strings with the back of the bow.

    • ‘‘Jovial Jig’: using the same basic material as ‘Fairy Frolics’, the finale is a compendium of colour effects - snap pizzicato, col legno, sul ponticello, guitar-like strumming.’
    • ‘I took the strings to their extremes, using lots of pizzicato and col legno [in which the wood of the bow is used to create a harsh sound].’
    • ‘The attack (the initial transient) is not so rapid as in col legno, because the bow hair is softer than the wood.’

Origin

Italian, with the wood (of the bow).

Pronunciation

col legno

/kɒl ˈlɛnjəʊ/