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[sem-ee-breev, -brev, sem-ahy-] /ˈsɛm iˌbriv, -ˌbrɛv, ˈsɛm aɪ-/
noun, Music (chiefly British) .
a note half the length of a breve; whole note.
Origin of semibreve
First recorded in 1585-95; semi- + breve Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for semibreve
Historical Examples
  • So much is Don Zuniga, her father, that he does not know a semibreve from a culverin!

  • There was also a semibreve, a diamond-shaped note which was used when two or more tones were sung to one syllable.

  • The last note of the exercise, which was printed as a dotted minim, has been changed to a semibreve.

    Advice to Singers

    Frederick James Crowest
  • The dotted minim value of this corresponds with the semibreve value of the other.

    Shakespeare and Music Edward W. Naylor
British Dictionary definitions for semibreve


(music) a note, now the longest in common use, having a time value that may be divided by any power of 2 to give all other notes Usual US and Canadian name whole note See also breve (sense 2)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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