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

  • adv. Music In a slow tempo, usually considered to be slower than andante but faster than larghetto. Used chiefly as a direction.
  • n. Music A slow passage, movement, or work, especially one using adagio as the direction.
  • n. A section of a pas de deux in which the ballerina and her partner perform steps requiring lyricism and great skill in lifting, balancing, and turning.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tempo mark directing that a passage is to be played rather slowly, leisurely and gracefully.
  • n. A passage having this mark.
  • n. A male-female duet or mixed trio ballet displaying demanding balance, spins and/or lifts.
  • adv. Played rather slowly.
  • adj. Describing a passage having this mark.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Slow; slowly, leisurely, and gracefully. When repeated, adagio, adagio, it directs the movement to be very slow.
  • n. A piece of music in adagio time; a slow movement.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In music:
  • Slow; slowly, leisurely, and with grace. When repeated, adagio, adagio, it directs the performance to be very slow.
  • Slow: as, an adagio movement.
  • n. A slow movement; also, a piece of music or part of a composition characterized by slow movement.
  • Special varieties of movement or style are indicated by adding other terms, as: adagio assai or molto, very slow; adagio non troppo, slow, but not too much so; adagio cantabile or sostenuto, slow, with a flowing or sustained movement; adagio patetico, slow and with pathos; adagio pesante, slow, with heavy accents; adagio religioso, slow and in the church style; etc.

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

  • adv. slowly
  • adj. (of tempo) leisurely
  • n. (music) a composition played in adagio tempo (slowly and gracefully)
  • n. a slow section of a pas de deux requiring great skill and strength by the dancers


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

Italian : ad-, at (from Latin; see ad-) + agio, ease (from Old Provençal aize; akin to Old French aise; see ease).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowing from Italian adagio.


  • I love Mahler but the adagio from the 5th symphony is used ad nauseum and sentimentally, almost in a Max Steiner Warner.

    GreenCine Daily: Visconti @ 100.

  • (Soundbite of "Adagio for Strings) SIMON: The adagio is the second movement of Samuel Barber's" String Quartet, "the rest of that work having receded almost behind the power of the adagio.

    Building A Career On Barber, The Enigmatic American

  • : All-Parish Spelling Bee winner correctly spells 'adagio' - Local News

  • Although the Symphony lacks the striking originality of future masterpieces like "Fratres" (1977) or "Tabula Rasa" (1977), the adagio-like second movement, with its dark, anguished outbursts in the low strings, points the way.


  • I'm a get-a-cutting-from-the-neighbor kinda girl so, for me to go out and buy a big, new crossvine (bignonia capreolata) AND a big grassy thing called miscanthus adagio, well, you know I'm celebrating for sure.

    A Special Day at the Wabi-Sabi House

  • At the heart of the symphony, structurally and emotionally, is the adagio, the wordless love scene, conceived for orchestra alone.

    Forgotten Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette

  • El conegut adagio del authority moviment de la sonata fourteen de L. Beethoven, coneguda com Clar de Lluna (Mondschein), interpretat per Alfred Brendel;

    JJ Moreso: Trobada amb JPAS

  • Orozco-Estrada may have been too indulgent of her slow adagio, but her clear vision of the final rondo again underlined a real artist in the making.

    Vienna Tonkünstler/Andrés Orozco-Estrada – review

  • An all-Russian programme followed, with arias from Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, and a Shostakovich's tango from the Golden Age ballet was only outdone by an elegant adagio from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, featuring principal ballerina Svetlana Zakharova.

    Bolshoi gala: a night in true Russian style, minus Putin

  • On first encountering Manon his reaction is an introspective adagio, much of it facing away from her.

    Manon – review


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