Definition of dominant seventh in English:

dominant seventh


  • The common chord of the dominant note in a key, plus the minor seventh from that note (e.g., in the key of C, a chord of G-B-D-F). It is important in conventional harmony, as it naturally resolves to the tonic or subdominant.

    • ‘When one reduces the musical texture to its harmonic frame, four dominant seventh chords remain, of which only the last one is resolved in G minor.’
    • ‘One piece includes blues-like flatted thirds written as D-sharps and a few later pieces involve E-flat and B-flat accidentals that suggest dominant seventh harmony.’
    • ‘This is an odd turn of events, since it wasn't all that long ago that the phrase ‘musical meaning’ either referred to formal properties - is this chord a dominant seventh or a German sixth, and how do we know?’
    • ‘The progression is based around mostly minor chords, and anything major is followed by a dominant seventh.’
    • ‘The noble falling fourths, echoed by the piano, re-establish the tonic key unambiguously, the bass triads wavering between tonic D majors and first inversions of the dominant seventh.’