From the Latin septēnārius (consisting of seven each), from septēnī (seven each”, “seven at a time) + -ārius (whence the English suffix -ary).



septenary (not comparable)

  1. Consisting of or containing seven.
  2. Of seventh rank or order.
    • 1899 October, W J McGee, The Beginning of Mathematics, in American Anthropologist 1(4), page 657, [1]
      ... indeed if further evidence than that of bestial and savage counting were required to show that finger-numeration and the quinary system were not primeval, it would be afforded by the development of the senary-septenary system in so many lands.
  3. Lasting seven years; continuing seven years.
    • Fuller
      Septenary penance.


See alsoEdit


septenary (plural septenaries)

  1. A group of seven things.
  2. A period of seven years.
    • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, p. 596:
      This idea was based on the doctrine that a man's body changed its character every seven years and that his life was thus made up of ‘septenaries’.
  3. (music) The seven notes of the diatonic scale.
Last modified on 15 December 2013, at 07:52