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Alternative formsEdit

  • (music): cord (dated)


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.
    1. (rail transport) A section of subsidiary railway track that interconnects two primary tracks that cross at different levels, to permit traffic to flow between them.
  4. (aeronautics) The distance between the leading and trailing edge of a wing, measured in the direction of the normal airflow.
  5. (nautical) An imaginary line from the luff of a sail to its leech.
  6. (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.
  7. The string of a musical instrument.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Milton to this entry?)
  8. (anatomy) A cord.
  9. (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.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      When Jubal struck the chorded shell.
    • (Can we date this quote by Beecher and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      Even the solitary old pine tree chords his harp.


See alsoEdit