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From the Latin septēnārius (consisting of seven each), from septēnī (seven each”, “seven at a time) + -ārius (whence the English suffix -ary).



septenary (not comparable)

  1. Consisting of or containing seven.
  2. Of seventh rank or order.
    • 1899 October, W J McGee, The Beginning of Mathematics, in American Anthropologist 1(4), page 657, [1]
      ... indeed if further evidence than that of bestial and savage counting were required to show that finger-numeration and the quinary system were not primeval, it would be afforded by the development of the senary-septenary system in so many lands.
  3. Lasting seven years; continuing seven years.
    • Fuller
      Septenary penance.


See also[edit]


septenary (plural septenaries)

  1. A group of seven things.
  2. A period of seven years.
    • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, p. 596:
      This idea was based on the doctrine that a man's body changed its character every seven years and that his life was thus made up of ‘septenaries’.
  3. (music) The seven notes of the diatonic scale.