fifth species

noun
variants: or fifth-species counterpoint

Definition of fifth species

: species counterpoint in which the added voice may employ all the resources of the first four species (see species entry 1 sense 1f) … the fifth species integrates the possibilities of the preceding species.— David Damschroder and David Russell Williams, Music Theory from Zarlino to Schenker, 1990

called also florid counterpoint

— see species counterpoint — compare first species, second species, third species, fourth species

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 fifth species

1834, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About fifth species

Time Traveler for fifth species

Time Traveler

The first known use of fifth species was in 1834

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near fifth species

fifth quarter

fifth species

fifth wheel

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for fifth species

Cite this Entry

“Fifth species.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fifth%20species. Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

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!