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crescendo (noun) a gradual increase in loudness (of music), force, etc..

A piece of music or singing reaches a crescendo as its loudness gradually increases and touches the loudest point. 'As the singer's voice rose to a crescendo, the instruments also reached a crescendo.' This means that her voice as well as the instruments gradually grew louder and louder as the concert progressed. A gradual increase in, and the loudest point and period of a noise are crescendo. 'The noise of vehicular traffic rose to its crescendo as the day progressed.' This means, as the day's activities increased, the noise of the vehicular traffic also grew gradually. The disapproval of the speaker's statements by the audience rose to a crescendo as did their shouts and claps. That is, the loudness of the shouts and the claps of the audience grew louder and louder along with their disapproval.

  • The discontent of the middle classes in France in the 18th century against the aristocrats rose to a crescendo and took the form of the French Revolution.
  • The concert grew very impressive, commanding the rapt attention of the audience, as the voice of the singer rose in a restrained crescendo to a climax, with the orchestra following her closely.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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