a. A composition for eight voices or eight instruments.
b. A group of eight singers or eight instrumentalists.
2. A group of eight: "A train of heavy wagons rumbled north on the Winnipeg Trail, drawn by octets of oxen" (Garrison Keillor).
3. See octave.
4. A set of eight valence electrons in an atom or ion, forming a stable configuration.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.