diatonic

adjective dia·ton·ic \ ˌdī-ə-ˈtä-nik \

Definition of diatonic

:of, relating to, or being a musical scale (such as a major or minor scale) comprising intervals of five whole steps and two half steps

diatonically

play \-ˈtä-ni-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Recent Examples of diatonic from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diatonic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of diatonic

Late Latin diatonicus, from Greek diatonikos, from diatonos stretching, from diateinein to stretch out, from dia- + teinein to stretch — more at thin


DIATONIC Defined for English Language Learners

diatonic

adjective

Definition of diatonic for English Language Learners

  • music : of or relating to a musical scale that has five whole steps and two semitones


Learn More about diatonic


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up diatonic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

serious difficulty or misfortune

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!