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From Latin octavus (eighth).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɒktɪv/, /ˈɒkteɪv/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɑktɪv/, /ˈɑkteɪv/


octave (plural octaves)

  1. (music) An interval of twelve semitones spanning eight degrees of the diatonic scale, representing a doubling or halving in pitch frequency.
    The melody jumps up an octave at the beginning, then later drops back down an octave.
    The singer was known for astounding clarity over her entire five-octave range.
    The octave has a pitch ratio of 2:1.
  2. (music) The pitch an octave higher than a given pitch.
    The bass starts on a low E, and the tenor comes in on the octave.
  3. (music) A coupler on an organ which allows the organist to sound the note an octave above the note of the key pressed (cf sub-octave)
  4. (poetry) A poetic stanza consisting of eight lines; usually used as one part of a sonnet.
    • Sir Philip Sidney
      With mournful melody it continued this octave.
  5. (fencing) The eighth defensive position, with the sword hand held at waist height, and the tip of the sword out straight at knee level.
    • 2009: Ray Finkleman
      If they always do a lateral parry quarte, and never a semicircular octave, that gives you an opening.
  6. (Christianity) The day that is one week after a feast day in the Latin rite of the Catholic Church.
    • 2014: Jennifer Gregory Miller
      It was extended to the entire Church by 1814, and then in 1913 the feast was transferred to September 15, the octave day of the Birth of Mary and the day after the Exaltation of the Cross.
  7. (Christianity) An eight-day period beginning on a feast day in the Latin rite of the Catholic Church.
  8. A small cask of wine, one eighth of a pipe.
  9. (astrology) the subjectional vibration of a planet
    • Astrology club
      Lastly, Mars is Pluto’s lower vibrational octave and resonance because it is the ancient ruler, and modern day co-ruler of Scorpio – the sign of Pluto’s natural rulership.
    • 2016: Kristin Fontana, The Beach Reporter
      Mercury then joins its higher octave and generous counterpart Jupiter early next week, and it opens gates of opportunity.


  • (interval): P8

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octave (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) Consisting of eight; eight in number.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)






  1. eighth