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[dahy-uh-sis] /ˈdaɪ ə sɪs/
noun, plural dieses
[dahy-uh-seez] /ˈdaɪ əˌsiz/ (Show IPA).
Origin of diesis
1350-1400; orig., any of several musical intervals smaller than a tone (for which a double dagger was used as a symbol); Middle English < Latin di(h)esis < Greek díesis literally, a sending through, equivalent to die-, base of diïénai to send through (di- di-3 + hiénai to send) + -sis -sis Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for diesis
Historical Examples
  • A diesis is a quarter tone; hence in a semitone there are included two dieses.

  • The ratio which expresses the value of the diesis is that of 128 to 125.

    Piano Tuning J. Cree Fischer
British Dictionary definitions for diesis


noun (pl) -ses (-ˌsiːz)
(printing) another name for double dagger
  1. (in ancient Greek theory) any interval smaller than a whole tone, esp a semitone in the Pythagorean scale
  2. (in modern theory) the discrepancy of pitch in just intonation between an octave and either a succession of four ascending minor thirds (great diesis), or a succession of three ascending major thirds (minor diesis)
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek: a quarter tone, literally: a sending through, from diienai; the double dagger was originally used in musical notation
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
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