Etymology
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semitone (n.)

late 15c.,semiton, "a musical interval approximating one-half of a whole tone," what we would call a minor second, the smallest interval in ordinary scales, from Old French semiton and directly from Medieval Latin semitonus; see semi- + tone (n.) in the musical sense. In art, in reference to tints, by 1782. Related: Semitonal (1863); semitonic (1728).

updated on April 28, 2022

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Definitions of semitone from WordNet

semitone (n.)
the musical interval between adjacent keys on a keyboard instrument;
Synonyms: half step
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.