• synonyms


[noom, nyoom]
  1. any of various symbols representing from one to four notes, used in the musical notation of the Middle Ages but now employed solely in the notation of Gregorian chant in the liturgical books of the Roman Catholic Church.
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Origin of neume

1400–50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin neuma < Greek pneûma breath
Related formsneu·mat·ic [noo-mat-ik, nyoo-] /nuˈmæt ɪk, nyu-/, neu·mic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for neume

Historical Examples

  • The earliest form of notation of which we have any knowledge is called the Neume notation.

    How Music Developed

    W. J. Henderson

  • Neume, nūm, n. a succession of notes to be sung to one syllable, a sequence: an old sign for a tone or a phrase.

British Dictionary definitions for neume



  1. music one of a series of notational symbols used before the 14th century
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Derived Formsneumic, adjective

Word Origin

C15: from Medieval Latin neuma group of notes sung on one breath, from Greek pneuma breath
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