Word of the Day


audio pronunciation
May 29, 2007
: a musical note with the time value of 1/64 of a whole note : sixty-fourth note
The pianist's fingers became a blur flying over the keys as she played the difficult hemidemisemiquavers of the allegro movement.
Get the Word of the Day direct to your inbox — subscribe today!
Did You Know?
Hemidemisemiquavers are the fastest musical notes that are commonly played, and performing them well can stretch human technique to its limit. The term is mainly used in Britain, where eighth notes are called "quavers," sixteenth notes are called "semiquavers," and thirty-second notes are called "demisemiquavers." In the United States, "hemidemisemiquaver" is likely to be used humorously, occurring especially as a clever substitute for "moment" or "bit," as in "the concert ended not a hemidemisemiquaver too soon."
More Words of the Day
Visit our archives to see previous selections.
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears