They are indeed tempo change markings, but some of them mean something along with tempo change.
Accelerando means to speed up, to accelerate. That's pretty intuitive.
Rallentando and Ritardando both mean to slow down, but they have slightly different connotations. Rallentando is a sort of fade out type of slowing down, whereas Ritardando is a more deleberate slowing down.
Calando means more than just slowing down. If you want a fadeout to a certain point in both dynamic and tempo, this is a good marking to use. You could mark ritard. and dimin. which would get you a very similar result, but Calando is a way of getting across both a diminuendo and a ritardando without marking ritard. or dimin. Calando literally means to calm down.
Stringendo is another marking that means to accelerate. But more specifically, it means that the music should get more excited. This is often interpreted as Accelerando + Crescendo, because both Accelerando and Crescendo add excitement and/or tension to the music, especially when combined.
Smorzando is another fadeout marking. It literally means dying away. Now, when to use Calando vs. Smorzando? I personally do this:
- If the music is to fade to a slow pianissimo ending, I mark Smorzando
- If the music is to fade to a quieter dynamic and a slower tempo(as an example, a forte allegro fading into a piano adagio) but isn't near the end yet, I mark Calando
Rubato is a bit different than all the others because the tempo change isn't unidirectional with Rubato. Rubato means that the tempo is flexible. How flexible it is depends on many factors, like for example Liszt's rubato is more flexible than Chopin's rubato and Beethoven has only the slightest bit of rubato.