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 (ro͞o-bä′tō) Music
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.


(ruːˈbɑːtəʊ) music
n, pl -tos
(Classical Music) flexibility of tempo in performance
adj, adv
(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


(ruˈbɑ toʊ)

adj., n., pl. -tos, -ti (-tē). Music. adj.
1. having certain notes arbitrarily lengthened while others are correspondingly shortened, or vice versa.
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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.rubato - a flexible tempo; not strictly on the beat
pacing, tempo - (music) the speed at which a composition is to be played
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Every gesture carries a meaningful articulation marking, and rubato is carefully indicated in several places.
answers WHO WHAT WHERE WHEN: Real Zaragoza; Rubato; Manchester; 1215 REMEMBER WHEN: 1993 IMPOSSIPUZZLES: 30 people, 10 dogs.
His rubato makes the movement's second theme really sing - wheedling and imploring - quite magically.
Knowledge of that single characteristic of the language leads us directly to a simpler tempo than we might have otherwise embraced, one without much, if any, rubato, and played and sung in the long lined, faster moving tempi so natural to the French language (and not natural to Germanic languages) than we might have if we did not have a French language text to actually lead, to demand, the way in which the music moves.
If you try to make a stretch or rubato or any color change, you will be behind and you will be out of tune with the orchestra on the next bar.
In the pit, Enrico Calesso expressively shaped the preludes and was not averse to giving Verdi's music some life-affirming rubato from time to time.
However new toilet facilities in the old Rubato basement cafe, and a new lift to reach all floors are yet to be completed.
Each of the 13 songs was improvised, creating a dynamic quality that allowed "each note to suggest the next." Bhuyan's piano technique, called rubato, involves lingering on single, sustained notes with a rhythmic sense that slows down and speeds up like the ebb and flow of wind in trees or waves washing upon a beach.
While Carter's music is firmly planted, for a variety of reasons, on the objective side of the time continuum, the canon of so-called idiomatically written vocal music (Italian opera and late Romantic art song) leans decidedly to the subjective side of the time continuum--that is, it allows for and even depends on techniques of rubato and tenuto for its success in performance.
Hackleman's leisurely tempi and rubato allow for an aesthetically appropriate approach.
Vogt brought both crystalline clarity and well-weighted chording to his performance, confident enough in his accompanists to be able to add a discreet element of rubato where appropriate.
although Large writes in his notes that with the eighteenth and particularly nineteenth-century music on this disc the ensemble "implements the use of the Italian style" by "employing tempo rubato and extemporizing on the music itself." This approach is audible on the Matiegka recording, on which Large plays a period insoninent Francois Rondhloff.