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[trem-uh-loh] /ˈtrɛm əˌloʊ/
noun, plural tremolos. Music.
a tremulous or vibrating effect produced on certain instruments and in the human voice, as to express emotion.
a mechanical device in an organ by which such an effect is produced.
Origin of tremolo
1715-25; < Italian: trembling < Latin tremulus tremulous Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tremolo
  • He had a well-developed tremolo and a little repertoire of tunes.
  • Loons have four different calls: the tremolo, wail, yodel and hoot.
  • The tremolo of the loon is often heard at day's end.
  • The use of the tremolo call during mobbing by the common loon.
British Dictionary definitions for tremolo


noun (music) (pl) -los
  1. (in playing the violin, cello, etc) the rapid repetition of a single note produced by a quick back-and-forth movement of the bow
  2. the rapid reiteration of two notes usually a third or greater interval apart (fingered tremolo) Compare trill1 (sense 1)
(in singing) a fluctuation in pitch Compare vibrato
a vocal ornament of late renaissance music consisting of the increasingly rapid reiteration of a single note
another word for tremulant
Word Origin
C19: from Italian: quavering, from Medieval Latin tremulāre to tremble
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 tremolo

1801, from Italian tremolo, from Latin tremulus "trembling" (see tremulous).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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