Definition of diatonic adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˌdaɪəˈtɒnɪk//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌdaɪəˈtɑːnɪk//
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using only the notes of the appropriate major or minor scale compare chromatic Word Originearly 17th cent. (denoting a tetrachord, a scale of four notes, divided into two tones and a lower semitone, or ancient Greek music based on this): from French diatonique, or via late Latin from Greek diatonikos ‘at intervals of a tone’, from dia ‘through’ + tonos ‘tone’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: diatonic