Definition of portamento in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌpôrdəˈmen(t)ō/

noun (plural portamentos or portamenti /-tē/)

1A slide from one note to another, especially in singing or playing a bowed string instrument.
Example sentences
  • His intonation, mode of approaching each note and portamenti in ‘Di Cupido impiego i vanni’, his words upon arrival, with Haim's spot-on accompaniment, said it all.
  • Horenstein brings out every bizarre detail and even puts some in - string portamenti where none are written, deliberate smears in the brass, even slightly sour wind playing - all of which contributes to one's psychic queasiness.
  • With generous string portamenti and relaxed rhythmic pointing, Karajan also washes the Czech character out of the Eighth Symphony.
2Piano playing in a manner intermediate between legato and staccato: [as modifier]: a portamento style


Italian, literally 'carrying'.

Words that rhyme with portamento

cento, cinquecento, divertimento, lento, memento, pimiento, Risorgimento, Sacramento, Sorrento, Trento

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: por·ta·men·to

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