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n. pl. ru·ba·tos
Rhythmic flexibility within a phrase or measure; a relaxation of strict time.
Containing or characterized by rubato.
[Italian (tempo) rubato, stolen (time), rubato, past participle of rubare, to rob, of Germanic origin; see reup- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n, pl -tos
(Classical Music) flexibility of tempo in performance
(Classical Music) to be played with a flexible tempo
[C19: from the Italian phrase tempo rubato, literally: stolen time, from rubare to rob]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
adj., n., pl. -tos, -ti (-tē). Music. adj.
1. having certain notes arbitrarily lengthened while others are correspondingly shortened, or vice versa.n.
2. a rubato phrase or passage.
[1880–85; < Italian (tempo) rubato stolen (time), past participle of rubare to steal < Germanic]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.