The word "breve" here means musical note, its duration is equal to two whole notes (like how the duration of a whole is equal to two half notes and so on).
It has another singular form — "brevis".

What is the plural form of "breve" or "brevis"? How do I correctly say "two 'breve's"?

Variants "two breves" and "two brevises" seem incorrect for me.

P.S.: I can't use "double", since in my case this word already stands for another thing.

  • Cambridge gives this definition. It also lists it as Countable. The definition shows a plural form › a ​musical ​note with a ​time ​value ​equal to two ​semibreves dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/breve Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 19:48
  • 1
    I have never heard the plural of breve used, but i have heard the plural of senibreve used, an i imagine that breve would follow the same pattern, so I'd go for two breves.
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 19:56
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    It's just "breves" /briːvz/.
    – sumelic
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 21:16
  • On that note, breves are not much used nowadays for dynamism in music, and now we have many more devices as to denote a long note. Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 21:54
  • The other part of the question was about the alternative form 'brevis'. This is an even more technical musical and poetic term, and it, strictly speaking, has a Latin plural 'brevēs' (approximately 'bre-vays'). Probably no-one actually uses that in English.
    – Sydney
    Commented Apr 16, 2016 at 23:59

1 Answer 1


It's probably just "breves". This sounds okay to my native ear.

  • One breve
  • Two breves
  • Hundreds of breves

The word is foreign in origin, and not really used outside of music, so I see why it might cause confusion.

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