Definition of octet in US English:

octet

(also octette)

noun

  • 1A group of eight people or things.

    • ‘You can also try entering x.x.x.1, where the first three x's are the octets of your current IP address.’
    • ‘In addition, a quartet or octet of Orpheus members could appear at business conferences every so often to spread the gospel.’
    • ‘The Robinsons' octet of ancient urban cats were all too scared to do anything about the rats and slept all day in the cosy comfort of the Aga corner.’
    • ‘The first couple octets are the manufacturer, the middle are the device, and the final are like serial numbers.’
    • ‘Gaurav is an active member in the comedy octet, The Other Guys.’
    • ‘I could only hope the squabbling octet did not end up at the same resort.’
    • ‘But the next day and the day after that came and went, and after that it was uncertain whether the observatory octet had finished chiming beneath the liquid dome.’
    • ‘A joint initiative with BBC Talent, the octet flew to the jungles of Borneo to undertake a project to save the life of endangered orang-utans in the area.’
    • ‘The data unit is then divided into segments 1 to m of a fixed-length, 45 octets.’
    1. 1.1 A group of eight musicians.
      • ‘Since 1993, when the octet formed as a side project, few bands have been doing the alternative thing, as influenced by Faith No More and Mr. Bungle.’
      • ‘As Above, So Below finds Julian in a calmer mood than the usual galloping momentum of his octet line-up.’
      • ‘The octet will go on to perform the Dvorak anniversary concert at Castle Howard on Tuesday.’
      • ‘If I'd have known she was part of the screeching octet, I would have cleaned up a bit better.’
      • ‘Mind Tricks, an octet of male dancers, consistently managed a successful balance between solo and group performance.’
      • ‘In the 1970s, there was even a double bass octet specialising in new music.’
      • ‘Murray's last release for this label, a tribute to Coltrane played by an octet, was on many critics' top - 10 lists.’
      • ‘Love Of Light, the octet's second album, is an occasionally beautiful mess.’
      • ‘There is something wonderfully cussed about this Liverpool octet's omission of their finest song from their first album.’
      • ‘The string octet that accompanied him then had provided a safety net of sorts.’
      • ‘He also leads an octet and the South City Six Dixieland Jazz Band.’
      • ‘Long at the vanguard of twenty-something folk angst, Scottish octet Belle and Sebastian have been keeping it quiet for the last year.’
      • ‘John of Gaunt entered five groups in this year's regional festival including its wind band, low brass ensemble and trombone octet.’
      • ‘The enterprising young Mr Sheriff has won Arts Council funding for the octet.’
      • ‘Jamil's octet tour last year and his CD Daydreams received enthusiastic reviews.’
      • ‘Tonight, Wakefield Jazz presents Sax Appeal, a long-established octet which features five saxophones, led by Derek Nash.’
      • ‘Jamil Sheriff is the pianist with Joel's band and he will be taking his own octet to Leeds College of Music on Wednesday.’
      group, band, orchestra, combo
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A musical composition for eight voices or instruments.
      • ‘The final work on the disc is Dos Danzas Latinas, an eloquent wind octet in two movements - Habanera and Samba.’
      • ‘Burney recorded that his instrumental works - symphonies, concertos, octets, quartets, and trios - were as popular as his vocal music.’
      • ‘In spite of his modest output, Louis Ferdinand is regarded as the first to compose for the piano septet and octet mediums.’
      • ‘In my continuing education I learned that Mendelssohn orchestrated the scherzo of his octet.’
      • ‘Arriaga was second fiddle in a string quartet at nine years of age, and two years later wrote an octet.’
    3. 1.3 The first eight lines of a sonnet.
      • ‘In the first huitain (an octet that rhymes ababbcbc) de Pisan declares her personal voice as the narrator.’
      • ‘Here is the octet as it is called, the first eight lines of the sonnet.’
    4. 1.4Chemistry A stable group of eight electrons occupying a single shell in an atom.
      • ‘The noble gas atoms have a complete octet of electrons in the outermost shell.’
      • ‘The octet rule is followed in so many compounds it is a useful guide.’
      • ‘An atom will bond with another in order to satisfy the octet rule.’
      • ‘Individual atoms are unstable unless they have an octet of electrons in their highest energy level.’
      • ‘The octet rule is used when drawing Lewis dot structures.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: from Italian ottetto or German Oktett, on the pattern of duet and quartet.

Pronunciation

octet

/äkˈtet//ɑkˈtɛt/