Definition of legato in English:


Syllabification: le·ga·to
Pronunciation: /liˈgäto

adverb & adjective

  • In a smooth, flowing manner, without breaks between notes. Compare with staccato.
    More example sentences
    • An emphasis on slower tempos gives Black the opportunity to show off her very accomplished legato playing.
    • The pianist wants us to hear everything, and he relies on his legato playing to prevent the music from sounding dry, even skeletal.
    • The natural trumpets were brightly penetrating while the flutes and other woodwind resonated above the soft legato strings.

noun (plural legatos)

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  • A piece or passage marked to be performed legato.
    More example sentences
    • The pedal plays a large role in creating a musical perception of legato, and for small-handed pianists, it is indispensable.
    • Different pitches could also be obtained from the one string and the transition between these pitches was characterised by a delicate legato.
    • The lyrical second theme brings forth a singing legato from the violin that contrasts wonderfully with its sharp and clipped phrasing in the first section.


Italian, literally 'bound'.

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