[ sev-uh n ]
/ ˈsɛv ən /



amounting to seven in number.

Verb Phrases

seven out, crap2(def 3a).


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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

Definition for sevens (2 of 2)

[ fan-tan ]
/ ˈfænˌtæn /


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.
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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for sevens

British Dictionary definitions for sevens (1 of 3)

/ (ˈsɛvənz) /


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

British Dictionary definitions for sevens (2 of 3)



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
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

British Dictionary definitions for sevens (3 of 3)

/ (ˈsɛvən) /


the cardinal number that is the sum of six and one and is a prime numberSee also number (def. 1)
a numeral, 7, VII, etc, representing this number
the amount or quantity that is one greater than six
anything representing, represented by, or consisting of seven units, such as a playing card with seven symbols on it
Also called: seven o'clock seven hours after noon or midnight


  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

Idioms and Phrases with sevens


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.