leading tone

[lee-ding]

noun Music.

the seventh degree of a diatonic scale; subtonic.

Nearby words

  1. leading note,
  2. leading question,
  3. leading rating,
  4. leading reins,
  5. leading strings,
  6. leading wind,
  7. leadingly,
  8. leadoff,
  9. leadplant,
  10. leadsman

Origin of leading tone

First recorded in 1910–15

Also called leading note.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for leading note

leading note

noun music

another word for subtonic
(esp in cadences) a note, usually the subtonic of a scale, that tends most naturally to resolve to the note lying one semitone above it
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