Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun \ˈkȯrd\

Simple Definition of cord

  • : a long, thin material that is usually thicker than a string but thinner than a rope

  • : an electrical wire that is wrapped in a protective covering and used to connect a device to a power source

  • : a part of the body that is like a string or rope

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of cord

  1. 1 a :  a long slender flexible material usually consisting of several strands (as of thread or yarn) woven or twisted together b :  the hangman's rope

  2. 2 :  a moral, spiritual, or emotional bond

  3. 3 a :  an anatomical structure (as a nerve or tendon) resembling a cord; especially :  umbilical cord 1a b :  a small flexible insulated electrical cable having a plug at one or both ends used to connect a lamp or other appliance with a receptacle

  4. 4 :  a unit of wood cut for fuel equal to a stack 4 x 4 x 8 feet or 128 cubic feet

  5. 5 a :  a rib like a cord on a textile b (1) :  a fabric made with such ribs or a garment made of such a fabric (2) plural :  trousers made of such a fabric

Examples of cord in a sentence

  1. She wore the key on a cord around her neck.

  2. They used cords to tie the tent to the trees.

Origin of cord

Middle English, from Anglo-French corde, from Latin chorda string, from Greek chordē — more at yarn

First Known Use: 14th century




Definition of cord

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to furnish, bind, or connect with a cord

  3. 2 :  to pile up (wood) in cords

corder noun

15th Century

First Known Use of cord

15th century

Other Wood Production Terms

CORD Defined for Kids


noun \ˈkȯrd\

Definition of cord for Students

  1. 1 :  a covered electrical wire used to connect an electrical appliance with an outlet

  2. 2 :  material like a small thin rope that is used mostly for tying things

  3. 3 :  an amount of firewood equal to a pile of wood eight feet long, four feet high, and four feet wide or 128 cubic feet (about 3.6 cubic meters)

  4. 4 :  a rib or ridge woven into cloth

  5. 5 :  a ribbed fabric

Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈkȯ(ə)rd\

Medical Definition of cord

  1. 1:  a long slender flexible material usually consisting of several strands (as of thread or yarn) woven or twisted together

  2. 2:  a slender flexible anatomical structure (as a nerve)—see spermatic cord, spinal cord, umbilical cord, vocal cord 1

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cord? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tending to dismiss important matters

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

disapprove soothe reduce perplex
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.