Definitions

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

  • n. Music Decrescendo.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tempo mark directing that a passage is to be played gradually more softly
  • n. A passage having this mark
  • adv. played in this style
  • adj. describing a passage having this mark

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. In a gradually diminishing manner; with abatement of tone; decrescendo; -- expressed on the staff by Dim., or Dimin., or the sign.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In music, an instruction to the performer to lessen the volume of sound: often indicated by dim., dimin., or by the sign : the opposite of crescendo.

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

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

Etymologies

Italian, present participle of diminuire, to diminish, from Latin dīminuere; see diminish.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Italian (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Her diminuendo is the non plus ultra that can be heard; her portamento wonderfully fine; her chromatic scales, especially toward the upper part of her voice, unrivalled.

    Frederic Chopin as a Man and Musician

  • The second team, led by researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK, examined a new line of mice, called diminuendo, that showed progressive hearing loss from an early age.

    EurekAlert! - Breaking News

  • The most magical moments revealed the possibilities for crescendo and diminuendo as a gee-whiz technological advance: Bezuidenhout let the close of the Variations toll ever softer, until it simply dissolved into the white noise of passing traffic.

    Authentication keys

  • Nay, it was not until I banged the washboard against my hand and the two objects made a diminuendo like the crystal bells one found in the windows of rich folk that I noticed a change.

    The Alchemist’s Wife « A Fly in Amber

  • Thus also in the sports which have made us happiest and been recollected as folk and individual memories, the particular occasions in which great deeds were done by great heroes, even, in a diminuendo, done by oneself, were then gathered into the collectivity of family or national storytelling.

    'A Short History of Celebrity'

  • One day Gert played even more poorly than usual at her lesson, and when Mr. Auer scolded her for not heeding the diminuendo and fortepiano, she confessed, in fits and starts, her dilemma.

    Goodnight Dogs

  • I walked away while playing it -- the only way you can do a diminuendo on the pipes: no volume control.

    Obituaries

  • And if her low register was occasionally underpowered near the end, she made up for it with a dramatic diminuendo/crescendo combination on her final, effortlessly floated high note.

    Lindstrom Shines as Last-Minute Soprano in 'Turandot'

  • The subtle tones of the vibraphone and bass meshed well with the trumpet chime-ins, and each crescendo and diminuendo could be felt by the sway of the audience.

    Review: Blind Pilot show | Seattle Metblogs

  • Although I have noticed a distinct diminuendo in posting ever since this Meade business was announced.

    Picnic with dog and iPhone.

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