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[sfawrt-sahn-doh; Italian sfawr-tsahn-daw] /sfɔrtˈsɑn doʊ; Italian sfɔrˈtsɑn dɔ/
adjective, adverb, Music.
with force; emphatically.
Also, forzando.
Origin of sforzando
1795-1805; < Italian, gerund of sforzare to show strength < Vulgar Latin *exfortiāre; see effort Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sforzando
Historical Examples
  • Victor had much difficulty in reading the notes readily and not confounding the terms adagio, presto, and sforzando.

    Bouvard and Pcuchet, part 2 Gustave Flaubert
  • Again a sforzando chord rang out, again came the jarring response.

    An American Girl in Munich Mabel W. Daniels
  • Every note marked long in pianoforte music is therefore essentially a sforzando followed by a rapid diminuendo.

    Twentieth Century Inventions George Sutherland
  • At the first sforzando he threw out his arms so wide asunder, that he knocked both the lights off the piano upon the ground.

  • So often as a sforzando occured, he tore his arms which he had previously crossed upon his breast, with great vehemence asunder.

  • In the second theme, which begins in the 44th measure, note the piquant dissonances coupled with sforzando accents.

    Music: An Art and a Language Walter Raymond Spalding
British Dictionary definitions for sforzando


adjective, adverb
to be played with strong initial attack sf
a symbol, mark, etc, such as >, written above a note, indicating this
Word Origin
C19: from Italian, from sforzare to force, from ex-1 + forzare, from Vulgar Latin fortiāre (unattested) to force1
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
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Word Origin and History for sforzando

"with sudden energy or impulse," 1801, from Italian sforzando, gerundive of sforza "to force" (see effort).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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