1 of 3

noun (1)

: three or more musical tones sounded simultaneously


2 of 3


chorded; chording; chords

intransitive verb

: accord
: to play chords especially on a stringed instrument

transitive verb

: to make chords on


3 of 3

noun (2)

: a straight line segment joining and included between two points on a circle
broadly : a straight line joining two points on a curve
: an individual emotion or disposition
struck a responsive chord
: either of the two outside members of a truss connected and braced by the web members
: the straight line distance joining the leading and trailing edges of an airfoil

Examples of chord in a Sentence

Verb the revised system chords perfectly with the original goals Noun (2) the story of the family's woes struck a sympathetic chord with newspaper readers
Recent Examples on the Web
That perspective strikes a chord with Dena Simmons, the founder of LiberatED and an expert in social-emotional learning. Courtney E. Martin, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 May 2024 Stout's artistic creations transcend geographic and cultural confines, striking a chord with individuals across diverse backgrounds. Molly Peck, USA TODAY, 10 May 2024 But the Channel 5 broadcast instantly struck a chord with its emphasis on news and events around Los Angeles. Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2024 There was a beautiful, tonal romance to the sub-trend—and the looks (detailed below) struck a more resonant chord in my note-taking than the obvious, sometimes overwhelming flowery garb that otherwise dominated the night. Nick Remsen, Vogue, 7 May 2024 Linda just strummed a chord and then belted some howling, crazy sound out of her mouth. Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, 5 May 2024 And while those topics struck an emotional chord with parents, those types of poignant moments mostly tend to go over the heads of many younger viewers. Kristina Behr, Parents, 3 May 2024 Apple’s Vision Pro hasn’t struck a chord with customers. Laura Bratton, Quartz, 3 May 2024 These deposit copies can be minimal, sometimes featuring just a vocal melody and indications of chords. Ben Sisario, New York Times, 2 May 2024
With the brand new Mike McCready Stratocaster, the artist now has a guitar designed to his specifics, including a custom pickup set to sound like his 1960 Stratocaster, a six-point tremolo, and a fingerboard radius that has enough arc for chording and easier note bending. Daniel Kohn, Spin, 12 Sep. 2023

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

Word History


Noun (1)

alteration of Middle English cord, short for accord

Noun (2)

alteration of cord entry 1

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1608, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1543, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of chord was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near chord

Cite this Entry

“Chord.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 3 noun
: a group of three or more tones sounded together to form harmony


2 of 3 verb
: to play chords


3 of 3 noun
: a straight line between two points on a curve

Medical Definition



More from Merriam-Webster on chord

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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