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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.]


(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]


(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]
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
References in periodicals archive ?
Jitka Cechova plays Robert Schumann's piano concerto with remarkable humility, in enchanting pastel colours, with wonderful and ample rubatos and finely nuanced dynamic oscillations, hence--her indisputable brilliance notwithstanding--it would almost seem that she rather perceives the work as chamber music.
His pupil Friederike Streicher wrote in her diary that Chopin "required adherence to the strictest rhythm, hated all lingering and dragging, misplaced rubatos as well as exaggerated ritardandos.
Leading to Morlacchi's Swiss Shepherd where there was scope for hair-raising running passages, overthe-top rubatos, double-tonguing and steely breath control - another delightfully corny depiction of folk-hero William Tell.
The Sinfonia gave a lively performance with excellent timing, particularly on the rubatos of the first movement.
You'll find no frenzied tempos or unusual rubatos here, nor any dry, scholarly interpretations, either; just sweet, easeful tunes.
Although respecting the fact that they are "utility" works and playing them with a splendid rhythmic push-off, the pianist could not resist imbuing them with a pinch of "something additional", through occasional, almost imperceptible rubatos and gentle keystroke nuances.
Huge dynamic ranges and daring rubatos sounded as if one person were improvising the music on the spot, creating some of the most compelling performances I'd ever heard by anyone.
Puccini is a master of atmosphere, knowing exactly how to bolster emotions with all the tricks of a composer's trade: clever key changes, lovely orchestral solos, subtle pauses, rubatos.
The Zemlinsky Quartet play the second movement as a high-spirited polka, including the graceful rubatos and the theme's dance-like starting in the cello.
Play together rhythmically from the very beginning of a piece, managing rubatos, ritardandos and endings.
Soloist Rimma Suhanskaya certainly knew the notes, but was somewhat wayward with worrying quasi rubatos.