middle C


Definition of middle C

: the note designated by the first ledger line below the treble staff and the first above the bass staff

Examples of middle C in a Sentence

the note above middle C
Recent Examples on the Web And then the accompanist plays middle C and Story begins to sing. Seija Rankin, EW.com, 10 June 2021 As spring approaches, May takes up singing lessons, her uncertainty with middle C echoing an anxiety about the world to come. Hamilton Cain Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, 11 Dec. 2020 Measurements of owls in flight show that their wings mute only frequencies higher than 1,600 hertz (on a piano, two-and-a-half octaves above middle C). Dana Mackenzie, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Apr. 2020 For example, middle C, or C4, is 261.63 hertz, while C5, one octave up, is 523.25 hertz. Quanta Magazine, 30 Oct. 2019 For example, the middle C on a piano does not sound the same as the middle C on a guitar, a violin or a flute because these objects each vibrate in a complex way. Science Buddies, Scientific American, 19 Apr. 2018 At the center of his art was that dazzling physicality and the percussiveness of his playing — his deep, serene, Ellingtonian chords and hummingbird attacks above middle C — which held true well into his 80s. Ben Ratliff, BostonGlobe.com, 7 Apr. 2018 But the words have the undeniable ring of truth to them, the way middle C does. Eliza Thompson, Cosmopolitan, 18 Jan. 2018 An intensely shaking head—vibrating at middle C—vibrates against the teeth and gums when moved around my mouth. Rachel Z. Arndt, Popular Mechanics, 13 Nov. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of middle C

1660, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About middle C

Time Traveler for middle C

Time Traveler

The first known use of middle C was in 1660

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near middle C


middle C

middle chief point

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for middle C

Cite this Entry

“Middle C.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/middle%20C. Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for middle C

middle C


English Language Learners Definition of middle C

: the musical note C that is close to the center of a piano's keyboard


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.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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