- The definition of an octave is a progression of eight notes on a musical scale, or the notes at the beginning and end of the progression.
Two musical notes which are eight tones apart on a scale are an example of an octave.
These piano keys represent an octave.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- the eighth day following a church festival, counting the festival day as the first
- the entire period between the festival and this day
- a group of eight lines of verse; specif., the first eight lines of a Petrarchan sonnet
- any group of eight
- Fencing a position of thrust or parry in which the hand is rotated with the palm up
- the eighth tone of an ascending or descending diatonic scale, or a tone seven degrees above or below a given tone in such a scale
- the interval of seven diatonic degrees between a tone and either of its octaves
- the series of tones contained within this interval, or the keys of an instrument producing such a series
- a tone and either of its octaves sounded together
- an organ stop producing tones an octave above those ordinarily produced by the keys struck
Origin: OFr from Classical Latin octava, feminine of octavus, eighth from octo, eight
- consisting of eight, or an octave
- Music producing tones an octave higher: an octave key
- octaval adjective
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- Music a. The interval of eight diatonic degrees between two tones of the same name, the higher of which has twice as many vibrations per second as the lower.b. A tone that is eight diatonic degrees above or below another given tone.c. Two tones eight diatonic degrees apart that are sounded together.d. The consonance that results when two tones eight diatonic degrees apart are sounded.e. A series of tones included within this interval or the keys of an instrument that produce such a series.f. An organ stop that produces tones an octave above those usually produced by the keys played.g. The interval between any two frequencies having a ratio of 2 to 1.
- Ecclesiastical a. The eighth day after a feast day, counting the feast day as one.b. The entire period between a feast day and the eighth day following it.
- A group or series of eight.
- a. A group of eight lines of poetry, especially the first eight lines of a Petrarchan sonnet. Also called octet.b. A poem or stanza containing eight lines.
- Sports A rotating parry in fencing.
Origin: Middle English, eighth day after a feast day, from Old French, from Medieval Latin octāva (diēs), from Latin, feminine of octāvus, eighth, from octō, eight; see oktō(u) in Indo-European roots.
- oc·taˈval adjective
octave - Cultural Definition
An interval between musical notes in which the higher note is six whole tones, or twelve half tones, above the lower. From the standpoint of physics, the higher note has twice the frequency of the lower. Notes that are an octave apart, or a whole number of octaves apart, sound in some ways like the same note and have the same letter for their names.