Definition of glissando in English:



  • A continuous slide upwards or downwards between two notes.

    • ‘But from the opening, mysterious, string glissandi, the orchestra seemed to miss the haunting atmospherics of Britten's score.’
    • ‘Within these prohibitive technical limitations, the performer is asked to make rapid scalic runs and, in one place, semiquaver leaps, and the piece ends with a double glissando.’
    • ‘The initial ‘Meditation’ is very troubled, with hectic glissandos and fitful ostinatos.’
    • ‘The vast array of techniques explored in the 20th century, the lead often taken by jazz musicians, included a wide variety of glissandos, multiphonics, microtones, expressive attacks, and mutes.’
    • ‘It has main melody lines which alternate in each year at such a speed that they become one with the whole like a glissando despite being discrete notes.’


Italian, from French glissant, present participle of glisser to slip, slide.