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Variant of cord, with spelling alteration due to Latin chorda (cord), ultimately from Ancient Greek (Doric) χορδά (khordá), (Ionic) χορδή (khordḗ, string of gut, the string of a lyre)



chord (plural chords)

  1. (music) A harmonic set of three or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously.
    • 1956, Delano Ames, chapter 14, in Crime out of Mind[1]:
      He struck the opening chords of the passage; but this time Irene's voice was silent. Victor stopped in the middle of an arpeggio.
  2. (geometry) A straight line between two points of a curve.
  3. (engineering) A horizontal member of a truss.
  4. (aeronautics) The distance between the leading and trailing edge of a wing, measured in the direction of the normal airflow.
  5. (computing) A keyboard shortcut that involves two or more distinct keypresses, such as Ctrl+M followed by P.
    • 2005, James Avery, Visual Studio hacks, page 99:
      Ctrl-K is the default first key for chords, but you can create chords using any keys that you want.
  6. The string of a musical instrument.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Milton to this entry?)
  7. (anatomy) A cord.
  8. (graph theory) An edge that is not part of a cycle but connects two vertices of the cycle.

Derived termsEdit



chord (third-person singular simple present chords, present participle chording, simple past and past participle chorded)

  1. (transitive) To write chords for.
    • 2003, Dan Levenson, Clawhammer Banjo from Scratch
      This chording technique works well for learning any tune, but this is the only tune of the set that I will write out completely as a chorded version.
  2. (music) To accord; to harmonize together.
    This note chords with that one.
  3. (transitive) To provide with musical chords or strings; to string; to tune.
    • Dryden
      When Jubal struck the chorded shell.
    • Beecher
      Even the solitary old pine tree chords his harp.


See alsoEdit