hemiola

noun
hemi·o·la | \ ˌhe-mē-ˈō-lə \

Definition of hemiola 

: a musical rhythmic alteration in which six equal notes may be heard as two groups of three or three groups of two

First Known Use of hemiola

circa 1934, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hemiola

Late Latin hemiolia, from Greek hēmiolia ratio of one and a half to one, from hēmi- + holos whole — more at safe

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hemiola

Statistics for hemiola

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hemiola

The first known use of hemiola was circa 1934

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on hemiola

See words that rhyme with hemiola

Comments on hemiola

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
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!