[sem-ee-breev, -brev, sem-ahy-]

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for semibreve

Historical Examples of semibreve

  • 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 notesUsual US and Canadian name: whole note See also breve (def. 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