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seven

[sev-uh n] /ˈsɛv ən/
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
6.
amounting to seven in number.
Verb phrases
7.
seven out. crap2 (def 3a).
Origin
900
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for seven
  • seven steps connect the deck's three levels to a small ground-level patio with a portable fireplace.
  • Or rent one of seven kayaks to explore the nooks and crannies of the protected cove.
  • Most sleep two or three, but seven units have kitchens and sleep three to seven.
  • seven years in the making, this hedge maze is worth studying.
  • It degrades in ultra-violet light but provides control on plant surfaces for up to seven days.
  • There will soon be seven billion people on the planet.
  • Then, they will listen to stories set in each of the seven continents to identify geographic characteristics of each place.
  • She wears a crown with seven rays in it, representing the seven seas and continents.
  • Select seven students to stand before a large wall map of the world.
  • Have students watch the video again, this time reflecting on the seven characteristics of ritual described above.
British Dictionary definitions for seven

seven

/ˈsɛvən/
noun
1.
the cardinal number that is the sum of six and one and is a prime number See also number (sense 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
6.
  1. amounting to seven: seven swans a-swimming
  2. (as pronoun): you've eaten seven already, related prefixes hepta- septi-
See also sevens
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for 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
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seven in the Bible

This number occurs frequently in Scripture, and in such connections as lead to the supposition that it has some typical meaning. On the seventh day God rested, and hallowed it (Gen. 2:2, 3). The division of time into weeks of seven days each accounts for many instances of the occurrence of this number. This number has been called the symbol of perfection, and also the symbol of rest. "Jacob's seven years' service to Laban; Pharaoh's seven fat oxen and seven lean ones; the seven branches of the golden candlestick; the seven trumpets and the seven priests who sounded them; the seven days' siege of Jericho; the seven churches, seven spirits, seven stars, seven seals, seven vials, and many others, sufficiently prove the importance of this sacred number" (see Lev. 25:4; 1 Sam. 2:5; Ps. 12:6; 79:12; Prov. 26:16; Isa. 4:1; Matt. 18:21, 22; Luke 17:4). The feast of Passover (Ex. 12:15, 16), the feast of Weeks (Deut. 16:9), of Tabernacles (13:15), and the Jubilee (Lev. 25:8), were all ordered by seven. Seven is the number of sacrifice (2 Chr. 29:21; Job 42:8), of purification and consecration (Lev. 42:6, 17; 8:11, 33; 14:9, 51), of forgiveness (Matt. 18:21, 22; Luke 17:4), of reward (Deut. 28:7; 1 Sam. 2:5), and of punishment (Lev. 26:21, 24, 28; Deut. 28:25). It is used for any round number in such passages as Job 5:19; Prov. 26:16, 25; Isa. 4:1; Matt. 12:45. It is used also to mean "abundantly" (Gen. 4:15, 24; Lev. 26:24; Ps. 79:12).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with seven
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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