—n. 1. Music. a. a gradual, steady increase in loudness or force.
b. a musical passage characterized by such an increase.
c. the performance of a crescendo passage: The crescendo by the violins is too abrupt. 2. a steady increase in force or intensity: The rain fell in a crescendo on the rooftops. 3. the climactic point or moment in such an increase; peak: The authorities finally took action when public outrage reached a crescendo.
—adj., adv. gradually increasing in force, volume, or loudness (opposed to decrescendo or diminuendo).