a cardinal number, 6 plus 1.
a symbol for this number, as 7 or VII.
a set of this many persons or things.
a playing card with seven pips.
sevens, (used with a singular verb) fan-tan ( def 1 ).
amounting to seven in number.
Verb phrases
seven out. crap2 ( def 3a ).

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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
seven (ˈsɛvən)
1.  See also number the cardinal number that is the sum of six and one and is a prime number
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
6.  a.  amounting to seven: seven swans a-swimming
 b.  (as pronoun): you've eaten seven already Related: hepta-, septi-
Related: hepta-, septi-
[Old English seofon; related to Gothic sibun, German sieben, Old Norse sjau, Latin septem, Greek hepta, Sanskrit saptá]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. seofon, from P.Gmc. *sebun (cf. O.S. sibun, O.N. sjau, O.Fris. sowen, siugun, Du. zeven, O.H.G. sibun, Ger. sieben), from PIE *septm (cf. Skt. sapta, Avestan hapta, Hitt. shipta, Gk. hepta, L. septem, O.C.S. sedmi, Lith. septyni, O.Ir. secht, Welsh saith). Long regarded as a number of perfection
(e.g. Seven wonders, seven sleepers, (transl. L. septem dormientes), seven against Thebes etc.), but in Ger. a nasty, troublesome woman is 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. Seventeen is from O.E. seofontyne.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Seven definition

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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see at sixes and sevens; in seventh heaven.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
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
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.
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