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tenuto Syllabification: te·nu·to
Pronunciation: /teˈno͞odō/

Definition of tenuto in English:

adverb& adjective

(Of a note) held for its full time value or slightly more.
Example sentences
  • Here the high notes, mostly, and the tenuto notes, even more, hold out.

noun (plural tenutos or tenuti-ˈno͞otē)

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A note or chord held for its full time value or slightly more.
Example sentences
  • A variety of articulations are found in these pieces, including legato, staccato, two-note slurs, tenuti, portatos and accents.
  • He used liberal vibrato and took many liberties in phrasing using ritards, accelerandos and tenutos over important structural notes.
  • The only thing that I could think of is that perhaps he's meaning to use the tenutos to imply light stresses, as they happen all over the solo soprano line.


Italian, literally 'held', past participle of tenere.

Words that rhyme with tenuto

Bhutto, butoh, Maputo, Pluto, prosciutto, ritenuto, sostenuto

Definition of tenuto in:

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