time signature


: a sign used in music to indicate meter and usually written as a fraction with the bottom number indicating the kind of note used as a unit of time and the top number indicating the number of units in each measure

Examples of time signature in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Everything is off-balance, including the time signature, which is in 5/4. Nate Jones, Vulture, 20 May 2024 Most of the track is in 5/4 [time signature], which is a very unusual time. Christopher Cruz, Rolling Stone, 27 Mar. 2024 Though there are notable variations (the former is in a minor key, for example, and follows a different time signature), the melodies of the main themes are nearly identical. Stephen Cox, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Mar. 2024 He’s unfailingly forged his own path, characterized by rambunctious psychedelic sounds and unconventional time signatures that have led to some pretty epic mosh pits in a live setting, regardless of the venue. Holly Alvarado, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Feb. 2024 The Turk arrives with Mediterranean treats in eccentric time signatures. Tim Davis, New York Times, 13 Feb. 2024 Irwin said that the characters’ runaway emotions are mirrored by the wildly fluctuating time signatures. Mary Carole McCauley, Baltimore Sun, 25 Jan. 2024 Unlike the traditional 3/4 time signature common to corridos, and the 4/4 time signature prevalent in American popular music, this piece required a creative fusion. Isabela Raygoza, Billboard, 2 Feb. 2024 From its 1974 debut album to 2015, when the band played a farewell show at the Forum, Rush was the standard-bearer for elaborate, multi-part songs full of falsetto hollers, time signature changes and drum solos. Rob Tannenbaum, Los Angeles Times, 13 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'time signature.' 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

1875, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of time signature was in 1875

Dictionary Entries Near time signature

Cite this Entry

“Time signature.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/time%20signature. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

time signature

: a sign used to indicate musical meter and usually written with one number above another with the bottom number indicating the kind of note used as a unit of time and the top number indicating the number of these units in each measure

More from Merriam-Webster on time signature

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