whole step


noun Music.

an interval of two semitones, as A-B or B-C♯; a major second.

Nearby words

  1. whole numbers,
  2. whole rest,
  3. whole shebang,
  4. whole sister,
  5. whole snipe,
  6. whole tone,
  7. whole-body counter,
  8. whole-body titration curve,
  9. whole-cell vaccine,
  10. whole-grain

Origin of whole step

First recorded in 1895–1900

Also called whole·tone.

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

Examples from the Web for whole step

  • If strictly logical terminology is to be insisted upon the whole-tone scale should be called the "whole-step" scale.

  • The interval between the two tones may therefore be either a half-step or a whole-step.

  • The expressions half-step and whole-step are much to be preferred to half-tone and whole-tone, as being more clear and definite.