Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. See double dagger.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several intervals, smaller than a tone, in ancient Greek music
  • n. The double dagger sign - ‡

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small interval, less than any in actual practice, but used in the mathematical calculation of intervals.
  • n. The mark ‡; -- called also double dagger. It is used in printing to indicate a cross reference or footnote.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Greek music, the Pythagorean semitone, being the difference between a fourth and two major tones, represented by the ratio 256: 243.
  • n. In modern music, the difference between an octave and three major thirds, represented by the ratio 128: 125. Also called the modern enharmonic diesis.
  • n. In printing, the mark ‡, commonly called double dagger. See dagger.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a character used in printing to indicate a cross reference or footnote

Etymologies

Medieval Latin, semitone (which was indicated by a double dagger), from Latin, quarter tone, from Greek diesis, a letting through, from diīenai, to send through : dia-, dia- + hīenai, to send; see yē- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • He found striking analogies between a hit in quarte or tierce with the intervals of music which bear those names: when he made a feint, he cried out, "Take care of this diesis," because anciently they called the diesis a feint: and when he had made the foil fly from my hand, he would add, with a sneer, that this was a pause: in a word, I never in my life saw a more insupportable pedant.

    The Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  • A diesis is a quarter tone; hence in a semitone there are included two dieses.

    The Ten Books on Architecture

  • La musica è del mio amato Chopin: Fantaisie Impromptu in do diesis minore, o.p.

    No Fat Clips!!! : None of Us are Free: Burma

  • For we come into the world with no natural notion of a right-angled triangle, or of a diesis, or of a half tone; but we learn each of these things by a certain transmission according to art; and for this reason those who do not know them, do not think that they know them.

    The Discourses of Epictetus

  • They still went to see Otello at the Theatre-Italien, but that was to hear Tamberlick's C diesis.

    Musical Memories

  • _Otello_ at the Théâtre-Italien, but that was to hear Tamberlick's C diesis.

    Musical Memories

  • He found striking analogies between a hit in 'quarte' or 'tierce' with the intervals of music which bears those names: when he made a feint he cried out, "take care of this 'diesis'," because anciently they called the 'diesis' a feint: and when he had made the foil fly from my hand, he would add, with a sneer, that this was a pause: in a word, I never in my life saw a more insupportable pedant.

    The Confessions of J J Rousseau

  • _diesis_, a term used to indicate the raising of the voice in the chromatic scale.

    Critical and Historical Essays Lectures delivered at Columbia University

  • 'tierce' with the intervals of music which bears those names: when he made a feint he cried out, "take care of this 'diesis'," because anciently they called the 'diesis' a feint: and when he had made the foil fly from my hand, he would add, with a sneer, that this was a pause: in a word, I never in my life saw a more insupportable pedant.

    The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau — Complete

Comments

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  • From the examples:

    “He found striking analogies between a hit in quarte or tierce with the intervals of music which bear those names: when he made a feint, he cried out, "Take care of this diesis," because anciently they called the diesis a feint: and when he had made the foil fly from my hand, he would add, with a sneer, that this was a pause: in a word, I never in my life saw a more insupportable pedant.”

    The Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

    January 14, 2013