Definition of rallentando in English:


adjective & adverb

  • (especially as a direction) with a gradual decrease of speed.

nounPlural rallentandos, Plural rallentandi

  • A gradual decrease in speed.

    ‘the passage is marked by extravagant rallentandos’
    mass noun ‘the music moves on without rallentando or pause’
    • ‘The slowing down in music, referred to as rallentando, was compared to slow motion in film.’
    • ‘Distortions such as the massive rallentando that brings the first movement to a close are the sorts of things Argenta would have worked out of his system if he had reached his 60s.’
    • ‘This is one of the least metronomic recordings I know, and yet the concerto holds its shape because a basic pulse has been maintained, in spite of the accelerandi and rallentandi.’
    • ‘But Bacon's version of the piece on this disc, with its built in rallentandos, is charming and convincing.’
    • ‘These are done with all kinds of rubatos, rallentandos, underlining, and overacting.’


Italian, literally ‘slowing down’, from the verb rallentare.