seven

[sev-uh n]
noun
  1. a cardinal number, 6 plus 1.
  2. a symbol for this number, as 7 or VII.
  3. a set of this many persons or things.
  4. a playing card with seven pips.
  5. sevens, (used with a singular verb) fan-tan(def 1).
adjective
  1. amounting to seven in number.
Verb Phrases
  1. seven out, crap2(def 3a).

Origin of seven

before 900; Middle English seoven(e), seofne, seven, Old English seofon; cognate with German sieben, Gothic sibun; akin to Old Irish secht, Welsh saith, Latin septem, Greek heptá, Polish siedem, Sanskrit saptá

fan-tan

[fan-tan]
noun
  1. Also fan tan. Also called parliament, sevens. Cards. a game in which the players play their sevens and other cards forming sequences in the same suits as their sevens, the winner being the player who first runs out of cards.
  2. a Chinese gambling game in which a pile of coins, counters, or objects is placed under a bowl and bets are made on what the remainder will be after they have been counted off in fours.

Origin of fan-tan

First recorded in 1875–80, fan-tan is from the Chinese word fān tān literally, repeated divisions, or < cognate dial. forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for sevens

Contemporary Examples of sevens

Historical Examples of sevens

  • I 've called it a seven, because M. Marsac usually writes his sevens in this way.

    That Boy Of Norcott's

    Charles James Lever

  • The world wants looking to, or 'tis all sixes and sevens wi' us.'

  • "Aces and sevens, gamblers," I grinned, reaching for the pot.

    Card Trick

    Walter Bupp AKA Randall Garrett

  • If they had not been miraculously guided, they would not have come by twos and sevens.

  • The high tension of the We Are Sevens relaxed for a brief second.

    Blue Bonnet in Boston

    Caroline E. Jacobs


British Dictionary definitions for sevens

sevens

noun
  1. (functioning as singular) a Rugby Union match or series of matches played with seven players on each side

fan-tan

noun
  1. a Chinese gambling game in which a random number of counters are placed under a bowl and wagers laid on how many will remain after they have been divided by four
  2. a card game played in sequence, the winner being the first to use up all his or her cards

Word Origin for fan-tan

C19: from Chinese (Cantonese) fan t'an repeated divisions, from fan times + t'an division

seven

noun
  1. the cardinal number that is the sum of six and one and is a prime numberSee also number (def. 1)
  2. a numeral, 7, VII, etc, representing this number
  3. the amount or quantity that is one greater than six
  4. anything representing, represented by, or consisting of seven units, such as a playing card with seven symbols on it
  5. Also called: seven o'clock seven hours after noon or midnight
determiner
    1. amounting to sevenseven swans a-swimming
    2. (as pronoun)you've eaten seven already Related prefixes: hepta-, septi-
See also sevens

Word Origin for seven

Old English seofon; related to Gothic sibun, German sieben, Old Norse sjau, Latin septem, Greek hepta, Sanskrit saptá
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 sevens

seven

n.

Old English seofon, from Proto-Germanic *sebun (cf. Old Saxon sibun, Old Norse sjau, Swedish sju, Danish syv, Old Frisian sowen, siugun, Middle Dutch seven, Dutch zeven, Old High German sibun, German sieben, Gothic sibun), from PIE *septm "seven" (cf. Sanskrit sapta, Avestan hapta, Hittite shipta, Greek hepta, Latin septem, Old Church Slavonic sedmi, Lithuanian septyni, Old Irish secht, Welsh saith).

Long regarded as a number of perfection (e.g. seven wonders; seven sleepers, the latter translating Latin septem dormientes; seven against Thebes, etc.), but that notion is late in Old English and in German a nasty, troublesome woman could be eine böse Sieben "an evil seven" (1662).

Magical power or healing skill associated since 16c. with the seventh son ["The seuenth Male Chyld by iust order (neuer a Gyrle or Wench being borne betweene)," Thomas Lupton, "A Thousand Notable Things," 1579]. The typical number for "very great, strong," e.g. seven-league boots in the fairy story of Hop o'my Thumb. The Seven Years' War (1756-63) is also the Third Silesian War.

The Seven Stars (Old English sibunsterri), usually refers to the Pleiades, though in 15c. and after this name occasionally was given to the Big Dipper (which also has seven stars), or the seven planets of classical astronomy. Popular as a tavern sign, it might also (with six in a circle, one in the center) be a Masonic symbol.

FOOL: ... The reason why the
seven stars are no more than seven is a pretty reason.
LEAR: Because they are not eight?
FOOL: Yes, indeed: thou wouldst make a good fool.
["King Lear," Act I, Scene V]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with sevens

seven

see at sixes and sevens; in seventh heaven.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.