Definition of sostenuto in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌsɒstəˈnuːtəʊ/


(Of a passage of music) to be played in a sustained or prolonged manner.
Example sentences
  • Myaskovsky saves his grief for the Rachmaninov-like Molto sostenuto central movement, which rises twice to a searing climax.
  • There are some beautifully expressive moments in the second Andante sostenuto movement in this concerto.
  • The second finale replaces the sostenuto passage in the first finale with a ghostly toccata.

noun (plural sostenutos)

1A passage to be played in a sustained or prolonged manner.
Example sentences
  • You'll hear no catchy runs or sostenutos, no aria-like Mozart-esque musicality.
  • His darkly burnished sound in the Andante sostenuto was all warmth and violinistic molten lava.
  • The dreamy, Chopinesque poetry of the Adagio sostenuto was exquisitely molded.
1.1 [mass noun] The performance of a passage in a sustained or prolonged manner.
Example sentences
  • In poise and sostenuto, her Carmen is full not only of sexiness but somehow sex itself.
  • She ran away with the show as Liu, bringing clarity to both her deepest, most vociferous registers and to her challenging tremolos over sostenuto in the highest notes.
  • Chapter Eight is about sustaining the voice and gives exercises for developing sostenuto.


Italian, 'sustained'.

Words that rhyme with sostenuto

Bhutto, butoh, Maputo, Pluto, prosciutto, ritenuto, tenuto

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sos|ten¦uto

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