adjective Music.

having the same pitch in the tempered scale but written in different notation, as G sharp and A flat.

Origin of enharmonic

1590–1600; < Late Latin enharmonicus < Greek enarmónios (-icus replacing -ios), equivalent to en- en-1 + harmoní(a) harmony + -os adj. suffix
Related formsen·har·mon·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for enharmonic

Historical Examples of enharmonic

  • In the enharmonic, the tetrachord consists of two tones and two "dieses."

  • The Enharmonic, according to Ptolemy, had ceased to be employed.

  • It consisted of an air with variations, crowded with enharmonic passages.

    The Violin

    George Dubourg

  • There are three classes of modes: first, that which the Greeks term the enharmonic; second, the chromatic; third, the diatonic.

  • The enharmonic mode is an artistic conception, and therefore execution in it has a specially severe dignity and distinction.

British Dictionary definitions for enharmonic


adjective music

denoting or relating to a small difference in pitch between two notes such as A flat and G sharp: not present in instruments of equal temperament such as the piano, but significant in the intonation of stringed and wind instruments
denoting or relating to enharmonic modulation
Derived Formsenharmonically, adverb

Word Origin for enharmonic

C17: from Latin enharmonicus, from Greek enarmonios, from en- ² + harmonia; see harmony
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

Word Origin and History for enharmonic

c.1600, from Late Latin enharmonicus, from Greek enharmonikos, from en (see en- (2)) + harmonikos (see harmonic).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper