octave

play
noun oc·tave \ˈäk-tiv, -təv, -ˌtāv\

Definition of octave

  1. 1 :  an 8-day period of observances beginning with a festival day

  2. 2a :  a stanza of eight lines :  ottava rimab :  the first eight lines of an Italian sonnet

  3. 3a :  a musical interval embracing eight diatonic degreesb :  a tone or note at this intervalc :  the harmonic combination of two tones an octave apartd :  the whole series of notes, tones, or digitals comprised within this interval and forming the unit of the modern scalee :  an organ stop giving tones an octave above those corresponding to the keys

  4. 4 :  the interval between two frequencies (as in an electromagnetic spectrum) having a ratio of 2 to 1

  5. 5 :  a group of eight

Examples of octave in a sentence

  1. He sang the song an octave lower.

Origin and Etymology of octave

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin octava, from Latin, feminine of octavus eighth, from octo eight — more at eight


First Known Use: 14th century


OCTAVE Defined for English Language Learners

octave

play
noun oc·tave \ˈäk-tiv, -təv, -ˌtāv\

Definition of octave for English Language Learners

  • music : the difference in sound between the first and eighth note on a musical scale


OCTAVE Defined for Kids

octave

play
noun oc·tave \ˈäk-tiv\

Definition of octave for Students

  1. 1 :  a space of eight steps between musical notes

  2. 2 :  a tone or note that is eight steps above or below another note or tone



Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a leading champion of a cause

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • fox-in-front-of-cabin-in-winter
  • The month of December comes from a Latin word that referred to which month of the year?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ