"a gradual increasing in force or loudness," 1776 as a musical term, from Italian crescendo "increasing," from Latin crescendo, ablative of gerund of crescere "to increase, grow" (from PIE root *ker- (2) "to grow"). Figurative use is from 1785. As a verb, from 1900.
Entries linking to crescendo
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to grow."
It forms all or part of: accretion; accrue; cereal; Ceres; concrete; create; creation; creature; Creole; crescendo; crescent; crew (n.) "group of soldiers;" croissant; cru; decrease; Dioscuri; excrescence; excrescent; griot; increase; Kore; procerity; procreate; procreation; recreate; recreation; recruit; sincere.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek kouros "boy," korē "girl;" Latin crescere "come forth, spring up, grow, thrive, swell," Ceres, goddess of agriculture, creare "to bring forth, create, produce;" Armenian serem "bring forth," serim "be born."
late 14c., cressaunt, "crescent-shaped ornament," from Anglo-French cressaunt, from Old French creissant, croisant "crescent of the moon" (12c., Modern French croissant), from Latin crescentum (nominative crescens), present participle of crescere "come forth, spring up, grow, thrive, swell, increase in numbers or strength," from PIE root *ker- (2) "to grow."
Applied in Latin to the waxing moon, luna crescens, but subsequently in Latin mistaken to refer to the shape, not the stage. The original Latin sense is preserved in crescendo.
Meaning "moon's shape in its first or last quarter" is from mid-15c. in English. Meaning "small roll of bread made in the form of a crescent" is from 1886. Adjectival sense of "shaped like the crescent moon" is from c. 1600 (earlier it meant "increasing, growing," 1570s).
A badge or emblem of the Turkish sultans (probably chosen for its suggestion of "increase"); figurative sense of "Muslim political power" is from 1580s, but modern writers often falsely associate it with the Saracens of the Crusades or the Moors of Spain. Horns of the waxing moon are on the viewer's left side; those of the waning moon are on his right.
updated on May 07, 2018
Dictionary entries near crescendo