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[kon-truh-puhn-tl] /ˌkɒn trəˈpʌn tl/
adjective, Music.
of or relating to counterpoint.
composed of two or more relatively independent melodies sounded together.
Origin of contrapuntal
1835-45; < Italian contrappunt(o) + -al1. See counterpoint
Related forms
contrapuntally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for contrapuntal
  • From there the conversation continues in masterful contrapuntal style.
  • Here the first movement is revealed as a luminous wonder of contrapuntal writing.
  • The machines began writing contrapuntal patterns in the air, an electronic canon for two raging voices.
  • On cue, they squat, then hop up and down in contrapuntal rhythm.
  • Bill said he had already been leaning in that direction, trying to open up these contrapuntal ways of approaching it.
  • When it was first heard, many did not care for the twisting, contrapuntal sound.
  • Yet another, contrapuntal litany can now be perceived.
  • As is often the case, there is a contrapuntal theme in the case law.
  • He added to it a set of magnificently complex canons and a trio sonata and elaborated upon the other contrapuntal movements.
British Dictionary definitions for contrapuntal


(music) characterized by counterpoint
Derived Forms
contrapuntally, adverb
Word Origin
C19: from Italian contrappuntocounterpoint + al1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for contrapuntal

1845, from Italian contrapunto "counterpoint," also "backstitch," from contra "against" (see contra) + punto "point" (see point (n.)). Musical use is from Medieval Latin cantus contrapunctis. Cf. counterpoint. Related: Contrapuntally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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