Definition of octet in English:


Syllabification: oc·tet
Pronunciation: /äkˈtet
(also octette)


  • 1A group of eight people or things, in particular.
    More example sentences
    • The first couple octets are the manufacturer, the middle are the device, and the final are like serial numbers.
    • Gaurav is an active member in the comedy octet, The Other Guys.
    • I could only hope the squabbling octet did not end up at the same resort.
  • 1.1A group of eight musicians.
    More example sentences
    • Jamil Sheriff is the pianist with Joel's band and he will be taking his own octet to Leeds College of Music on Wednesday.
    • John of Gaunt entered five groups in this year's regional festival including its wind band, low brass ensemble and trombone octet.
    • The octet will go on to perform the Dvorak anniversary concert at Castle Howard on Tuesday.
  • 1.2A musical composition for eight voices or instruments.
    More example sentences
    • In my continuing education I learned that Mendelssohn orchestrated the scherzo of his octet.
    • Arriaga was second fiddle in a string quartet at nine years of age, and two years later wrote an octet.
    • Burney recorded that his instrumental works - symphonies, concertos, octets, quartets, and trios - were as popular as his vocal music.
  • 1.3The first eight lines of a sonnet.
    More example sentences
    • In the first huitain (an octet that rhymes ababbcbc) de Pisan declares her personal voice as the narrator.
    • Here is the octet as it is called, the first eight lines of the sonnet.
  • 1.4 Chemistry A stable group of eight electrons occupying a single shell in an atom.
    More example sentences
    • The octet rule is followed in so many compounds it is a useful guide.
    • An atom will bond with another in order to satisfy the octet rule.
    • The noble gas atoms have a complete octet of electrons in the outermost shell.


mid 19th century: from Italian ottetto or German Oktett, on the pattern of duet and quartet.

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