Definition of septenary in US English:



  • Relating to or divided into seven.


  • 1A group or set of seven things.

    • ‘The work, which resembles an oratorio more than any other work by Messiaen, is in two parts (‘septenaries’) of seven sections each.’
    • ‘Messiaen suggested that Salzmann should return to Paris on about 14 April in order to go through the score for the second septenary and take the material back to Lisbon.’
    • ‘By December 1966 the work had grown considerably, reaching its final number of 14 movements, divided into two seven-movement sections (‘septenaries’), and now requiring six soloists instead of the five previously mentioned.’
    1. 1.1 A period of seven years.
    2. 1.2Music The seven notes of the diatonic scale.


Late Middle English: from Latin septenarius (see septenarius).