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1. of or relating to the number seven
2. forming a group of seven
3. another word for septennial
n, pl -naries
4. the number seven
5. a group of seven things
6. a period of seven years
7. (Poetry) prosody a line of seven metrical feet
[C16: from Latin septēnārius, from septēnī seven each, from septem seven]


(ˈsɛp təˌnɛr i)

of or pertaining to the number seven or forming a group of seven.
[1570–80; < Latin septēnārius]


 a group of seven; seven years.
Examples: septenary of days (a week), 1660; of planets, 1650; of years.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.septenary - the cardinal number that is the sum of six and oneseptenary - the cardinal number that is the sum of six and one
digit, figure - one of the elements that collectively form a system of numeration; "0 and 1 are digits"
References in classic literature ?
A naturalist, struck by a parallelism of this nature in any one class, by arbitrarily raising or sinking the value of the groups in other classes (and all our experience shows that this valuation has hitherto been arbitrary), could easily extend the parallelism over a wide range; and thus the septenary, quinary, quaternary, and ternary classifications have probably arisen.
Observing these two points in the historical analysis of sins in the Middle Ages, we see that, in the 13th century, at the same time that Gregorio's septenary was abandoned in the dogma plan, the Augustinian ternary of the sins of deed, word and thought was winning space.
1175), and called Petrus Cantor's discussion involving the seven works in his Verbum adbreviatum (written before 1187)--in which he alluded specifically to Tobit 12:12--"one of the earlier references to the full septenary.
The playwright substitutes 'transported' for the slightly less concrete 'transposed' and adds an honorific for addressing Bathsheba, but the pageant omits only a small interchange between the two characters (18) and keeps the meaning and most of the language intact, reorganizing it into the plays' standard septenary line.
He says that the use of the accent mark and curl in MS Junius 1, and the septenary metre show that OSL probably had not affected short vowels in open syllables (cf.
The tail-rhyme stanza, the form most commonly associated with the popular romances, has its origins in the liturgical sequence and the septenary, and was used initially for lyrical compositions and later for narrative purposes.
Augustine writes that "ten signifies a knowledge of the Creator and the creature; for the trinity is the Creator and the septenary indicates the creature by reason of his life and body.