follow Dictionary.com

11 Trending Words of 2014

pianoforte

[pee-an-uh-fawrt, -fohrt; pee-an-uh-fawr-tee, -tey, -fohr-] /piˈæn əˌfɔrt, -ˌfoʊrt; piˌæn əˈfɔr ti, -teɪ, -ˈfoʊr-/
noun
1.
a piano.
Origin
1760-1770
1760-70; < Italian (gravecembalo col) piano e forte literally, (harpsicord with) soft and loud, equivalent to piano soft (see piano2) + forte loud (see forte2)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for pianoforte
  • The parlors showcase original mahogany and rosewood furniture, along with a rare upright pianoforte.
British Dictionary definitions for pianoforte

pianoforte

/pɪˈænəʊˈfɔːtɪ/
noun
1.
the full name for piano1
Word Origin
C18: from Italian, originally (gravecembalo col) piano e forte (harpsichord with) soft and loud; see piano², forte²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for pianoforte
n.

1767, from Italian, from piano e forte "soft and loud," in full, gravicembalo col piano e forte "harpsichord with soft and loud" (c.1710), said to have been so named by inventor Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731) of Padua because the ability via dampers to vary the tone is one of the main changes from the harpsichord. Italian piano (adj.) ultimately is from Latin planus "flat, smooth, even," later "soft" (see plane (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
pianoforte in Culture
pianoforte [(pee-an-uh-fawrt, pee-an-uh-fawr-tay)]

The full name of the piano, the common musical instrument with a board of black and white keys, eighty-eight in all. The keys operate hammers that strike wires. Pianoforte is Italian for “soft-loud”; it received this name because its level of loudness depends on how hard the player strikes the keys.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for pianoforte

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pianoforte

0
17
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for pianoforte