diminished seventh


Definition of diminished seventh

1 : a musical interval (see interval sense 2c)that is smaller than a seventh by a semitone
2 or diminished seventh chord : a seventh chord that is often built on the leading tone, that spans the interval (see interval sense 2c)of a diminished seventh (sense 1), and that consists of three minor thirds

called also diminished chord

— see seventh chord

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of diminished seventh

1753, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about diminished seventh

Time Traveler for diminished seventh

Time Traveler

The first known use of diminished seventh was in 1753

See more words from the same year

Statistics for diminished seventh

Cite this Entry

“Diminished seventh.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diminished%20seventh. Accessed 7 December 2019.

Comments on diminished seventh

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


the study of flags

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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