1 [kawrd]
a feeling or emotion: His story struck a chord of pity in the listeners.
Geometry. the line segment between two points on a given curve.
Engineering, Building Trades. a principal member of a truss extending from end to end, usually one of a pair of such members, more or less parallel and connected by a web composed of various compression and tension members.
Aeronautics. a straight line joining the trailing and leading edges of an airfoil section.
Anatomy, cord ( def 6 ).

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin chorda < Greek chordḗ gut, string; replacing cord in senses given

chorded, adjective Unabridged


2 [kawrd]
a combination of usually three or more musical tones sounded simultaneously.
verb (used with object)
to establish or play a chord or chords for (a particular harmony or song); harmonize or voice: How would you chord that in B flat?

1350–1400; earlier cord, Middle English, short for accord; ch- from chord1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
chord1 (kɔːd)
1.  maths
 a.  a straight line connecting two points on a curve or curved surface
 b.  the line segment lying between two points of intersection of a straight line and a curve or curved surface
2.  engineering one of the principal members of a truss, esp one that lies along the top or the bottom
3.  anatomy a variant spelling of cord
4.  an emotional response, esp one of sympathy: the story struck the right chord
5.  an imaginary straight line joining the leading edge and the trailing edge of an aerofoil
6.  archaic the string of a musical instrument
[C16: from Latin chorda, from Greek khordē gut, string; see cord]

chord2 (kɔːd)
1.  concord See discord the simultaneous sounding of a group of musical notes, usually three or more in number
2.  (tr) to provide (a melodic line) with chords
[C15: short for accord; spelling influenced by chord1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"related notes in music," 1597, aphetic of accord, infl. by L. chorda (see cord). Spelling with an -h- first recorded 1608.

"structure in animals resembling a string," 1540s, alteration of cord, by influence of Gk. khorde "gut, string." The geometry sense is from 1550s; meaning "feeling, emotion" first attested 1784.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

chord (kôrd)
Variant of cord.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
chord   (kôrd)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A line segment that joins two points on a curve.

  2. A straight line connecting the leading and trailing edges of an airfoil.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

chord definition

In music, the sound of three or more notes played at the same time. The history of Western music is marked by an increase in complexity of the chords composers use.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see strike a chord.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
There's punk, any simple chord progression played faster than mid-tempo with
  aggression and hoarse vocals.
Seldom does a planned joke at the outset of a presentation to a strange
  audience strike the right chord.
It should strike a responsive chord in the viewer and portray one or more
  individuals experiencing the beauty or wonder of nature.
Stem cells are also available from the placenta of new born babies and the
  chord blood.
Idioms & Phrases
Image for chord
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