A unit of measure of the width of a musical interval, equal to 1/100 of a semitone, not a whole tone. You can find the number of cents in a just intonation interval from the frequency ratio by this formula:

cents = log(ratio) / log(2) * 1200

Thus the octave, ratio 2/1, measures 1200 cents, which makes sense because it is equal to twelve equal tempered semitones each 100 cents.

Cent (?), n. [F. cent hundred, L. centum. See Hundred.]


A hundred; as, ten per cent, the proportion of ten parts in a hundred.


A United States coin, the hundredth part of a dollar, formerly made of copper, now of copper, tin, and zinc.


An old game at cards, supposed to be like piquet; -- so called because 100 points won the game.



© Webster 1913.

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