American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The cardinal number equal to 6 + 1.
- n. The seventh in a set or sequence.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- One more than six; the sum of three and four: a cardinal numeral. Seven is a rare number in metrology, perhaps its only occurrences being in the seven handbreadths of the Egyptian cubit (for the probable explanation of which, see
cubit), and in the seven days of the week, certainly early connected, at least, with the astrological assignment of the hours in regular rotation to the seven planets. This astrological association explains the identification by Pythagoras of the number seven with the opportune time ( καιρός), as well as the fact that light was called sevenby the Pythagoreans. That they termed it “motherless” may be due to the “seven spirits” of the Chaldeans—that is, the planets—being called “fatherless and motherless.” The astrological association further explains why the number seven has so frequently been suggested by the conception of divine or spiritual influence, and why it was made the number of intelligence by Philolaus. The common statement that seven implies perfection has no further foundation than that the cabalistic meanings of all odd numbers are modes of perfection. One is the first, and was with the Pythagoreans the number of essence ( οὐσία). Two involves otherness, and was the number of opinion, “because of its diversity.” Three involves mediation, and was the number of beginning, middle, and end. Four naturally suggests a square, and so equity, and was commonly considered the number of justice; but it further carries the suggestion of system, and often has that signification. Five connects itself with the five fingers, used in counting, and thus is an ordinary synecdoche for a small group (“Five of you shall chase an hundred”—Lev. xxvi. 8); but the Pythagoreans, for some unknown reason, made it the number of marriage. Six played an important part in the sexagesimal system of the Chaldeans; but its Pythagorean meaning is doubtful. In the Apocalypse 666 is the number of the beast. Eight, being the first cube, would naturally suggest solidity; but according to Dr. Wordsworth it is the dominical or resurrection number. Nine, or three triads, was the number of the great gods of Egypt, and was considered efficient in all magical operations. Ten, for reasons connected with the history of the Pythagorean brotherhood, was consid ered by them as the great number of power. To eleven no particular significance is attached. Twelve was important in the Chaldean division of the circle, and was the number of the great gods. Thirteen, according to Dr. Mahan, is the number of schism. Seven was formerly used generally and vaguely to indicate a large number.
- (b ) The constellation Ursa Major.
- The Pleiades.
- n. The number greater by one than six; a group of things amounting to this number.
- n. The symbol representing this number, as 7, or VII, or vii.
- n. plural In Eng. hymnology, a species of trochaic meter having seven syllables to the line, and properly four lines to the stanza. Sevens double (7s, D.) has eight lines, and other varieties are marked by the number of lines, as 7s, 6l, or 7s, 3l. Sevens and fives is a trochaic meter having three lines of seven syllables with one of five. Sevens and sixes is a meter, usually of eight lines, in which trochaic lines of seven syllables alternate with iambic lines of six syllables. Other varieties occur. See
- n. A playing-card with seven spots or pips on it.
- n. To set in confusion.
- n. cardinal A numerical value equal to 7; the number occurring after six and before eight.
- n. The digit/figure 7 or an occurrence thereof.
- n. countable, card games A card bearing seven pips.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. One more than six; six and one added.
- n. The number greater by one than six; seven units or objects.
- n. A symbol representing seven units, as 7, or vii.
- adj. being one more than six
- n. one of four playing cards in a deck with seven pips on the face
- n. the cardinal number that is the sum of six and one
- From Middle English, from Old English seofon ("seven"), from Proto-Germanic *sebun (“seven”), from Proto-Indo-European *septḿ̥ (“seven”). Cognate with Scots sevin ("seven"), West Frisian sân ("seven"), Saterland Frisian soogen ("seven"), Dutch zeven ("seven"), German sieben ("seven"), Danish syv ("seven"), Icelandic sjö ("seven"), Latin septem ("seven"), Ancient Greek ἑπτά (heptá, "seven"), Russian семь (sem'), Sanskrit सप्तन् (saptán). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old English seofon; see septm̥ in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Since it is necessary that seven plus two is greater than seven, when the number nine is referred to as ˜seven plus two™ it is essentially greater than seven.”
“Whereupon the Bishop wrote that he "felt persuaded that there were not above seven of any note who did not conform themselves" to the church ordinances; while the Vicar said he "did not know of _half seven_ of any note but do the like.”
“A farthing a day is seven shillings a year, answered the M.P.; seven shillings a year is the interest of seven guineas.”
“He ran him for seven miles -- _seven miles_, mind you!”
“We mustered seven hands all told, six seamen and myself -- _seven only out of our entire crew_!”
“These “seven nights,” however, are frequently interpreted, figuratively, to mean _seven years_, a rendering which often serves to relieve the shaman from a very embarrassing position.”
“Through the seven planetary spheres, represented by the Mystic Ladder of the Mithriac Initiations, and it by that which Jacob saw in his dream (not with _three_, but with _seven_ steps), the Souls, emanating from the Deity, descended, to be united to their human bodies; and through those seven spheres they must re-ascend, to return to their origin and home in the bosom of the Deity.”
“But a triple iteration of the number 7, simply saying '_Seven seven seven_,' would be even more rememberable.”
“_Seven seven seven_' is remembered even _more_ easily. [”
“In another place he talks of a "serpent with seven heads," which is a manifest corruption of the text; for the words "_seven heads_" are not mentioned in that verse. [”
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