1 of 2


an·​tiph·​o·​nal an-ˈti-fə-nᵊl How to pronounce antiphonal (audio)


2 of 2


: of, relating to, or suggesting an antiphon or antiphony
antiphonally adverb

Examples of antiphonal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
This time, in music clearly intended for antiphonal effects between first and second violins on opposite sides of the stage, all the violins were back on the left. Dallas News, 20 Jan. 2023 More complicated are choral passages, especially antiphonal ones, a challenge for untrained performers but a compelling study in building harmony. New York Times, 1 July 2022 Extra musicians in the boxes next to the stage create antiphonal effects around the audience; electronics provide creepiness for the ghost scenes and others, while a chorus of eight singers in the pit adds an additional stratum of sound. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, 18 May 2022 Electronic auras seem to swirl around the audience, aided by the two antiphonal groups in the balcony boxes on either side of the proscenium — each with a percussionist, clarinetist and trumpeter. New York Times, 15 May 2022 The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s string sound, with antiphonal violins and cellos seated near the very center of the stage, was richly integrated and balanced., 9 Aug. 2021 Hence, intimacy was the order of the evening, beginning with music director Osmo Vänskä conducting three antiphonal Renaissance brass works by Giovanni Gabrieli. Rob Hubbard, Star Tribune, 18 Jan. 2021 Though their overall character is reverent and restrained, the antiphonal back-and-forth between small choirs of voices and various batteries of instruments seems unabashedly Venetian. New York Times, 20 Mar. 2020 That said, the concert actually started with something very old: an antiphonal Renaissance-era work by Hans Leo Hassler that the 26-member chamber choir sang while surrounding the audience on three sides. Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities, 21 July 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'antiphonal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1537, in the meaning defined above


1704, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of antiphonal was in 1537

Dictionary Entries Near antiphonal

Cite this Entry

“Antiphonal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on antiphonal

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!