Latin septimus (seventh) + English -ate, after decimate; compare septimation



septimate (third-person singular simple present septimates, present participle septimating, simple past and past participle septimated)

  1. (transitive) Submit (someone or something) to septimation; reduce by one seventh.
    • 1755, The Monthly Review, or, Literary Journal XIII, page 141
      We may ſay, without the leaſt hyperbole, nature ſeptimates; art centeſimates us.
    • 1825, Robert Archibald Armstrong, A Gaelic Dictionary, in Two Parts, page 492, “Seachdaich”
      Arrange into sevens; septuplicate; septimate.
    • 1852 August, Rev. J. Wenger, “On the desirableness of Commuting the Government Land Tax” quoted by Macleod Wylie in Bengal as a Field of Missions (1854), page 285
      That regulation which is usually called the seventh or huftum…conveys to the Bengali rayat the same uncomfortable impression, which is usually connected with the idea of being ‘quartered’ or ‘decimated.’ When he sees that he is about to be ‘septimated,’ he makes every effort in his power to escape from his fate by flight, thereby risking the loss of all he possesses in the world.
    • 1938, Geoffrey Clement Watson, The Soil and Social Reclamation, page 102
      It was during the cold spell of 1935 that influenza and other forms of sickness “septimated” the labour supply for the mines of Southern Rhodesia.

Coordinate termsEdit


septimate (plural septimates)

  1. A group of seven.
    • 1876, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London CLXV:ii, page 418
      In the 744 septimates of January there are only seven in which all the W and S are positive; in the 720 of June there are none.
    • 1942, Herbert Wallace Schneider and George Lawton, A Prophet and a Pilgrim, page 499
      At the end of this septimate of days he enters into the sabbath of his God.


septimate (not comparable)

  1. (rare) In groups of seven.
    • 1969, The American Literary Anthology II, page 267
      She let her hands sink down…into the beginning of Partita VI, letting its curious seven-headed rhythm ring out, one after another, like amethysts on a chain. She played the fugue with marked sadness, and then brought back the septimate chords to enclose it.