pen·​ta·​ton·​ic ˌpen-tə-ˈtä-nik How to pronounce pentatonic (audio)
: consisting of five tones
specifically : being or relating to a scale in which the tones are arranged like a major scale with the fourth and seventh tones omitted

Examples of pentatonic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The tubes are professionally tuned to a pentatonic C major scale which results in deep, rich chime rings. Nor'adila Hepburn, Southern Living, 17 Apr. 2024 Tuned to the pentatonic scale of C, this wind chime offers a rich and deep tone with every breeze. Kate McGregor, Better Homes & Gardens, 24 Mar. 2023 West did employ the pentatonic scale, fundamental to Chinese music, and engaged the UK Chinese Ensemble for authentic sounds: the stringed erhu and pipa, the xiao and dizi flutes, the hammered-dulcimer-like yangqin and the zither-like guzheng. Jon Burlingame, Variety, 8 Sep. 2021 Tuned to the pentatonic C scale, this wind chime offers a timeless sound incorporating all of the major chords. Kate McGregor, Better Homes & Gardens, 24 Mar. 2023 More than a decade after forming, Pentatonix — a play on the pentatonic scale — became the first a cappella group to win a Grammy for arrangement with a sublime medley of Daft Punk songs in 2015. Michele Amabile Angermiller, Variety, 20 Feb. 2023 Notes appear on the screen in a colorblocked wheel that can be customized for pentatonic or heptatonic scales. Dominique Soguel, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Jan. 2022 The pentatonic melodies and syncopated rhythms found within are some of the African influences that made the symphony a novel hybrid for its time. San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Apr. 2022 The first five notes in the cycle form the pentatonic scale, which is used in the music of many ancient cultures. Eugenia Cheng, WSJ, 23 Dec. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pentatonic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1864, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pentatonic was in 1864

Dictionary Entries Near pentatonic

Cite this Entry

“Pentatonic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

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