chord·​al ˈkȯr-dᵊl How to pronounce chordal (audio)
: of, relating to, or suggesting a chord
: relating to music characterized more by harmony than by counterpoint

Examples of chordal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Italian Jewish composer Salamone Rossi set Psalm 112 in Hebrew, in mainly chordal antiphony. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 2 Mar. 2020 Maybe that explains why their playing in the Eighth Symphony sang out with such fullness and breadth, and why chordal passages had such strong hints of a church choir. New York Times, 25 Feb. 2020 It can be strummed, plucked, played for chordal accompaniment or virtuosic runs. John Adamian,, 4 Oct. 2019 Leven effortlessly pivoted back and forth between cozying up to Stepner’s line and joining the lower strings’ strong chordal figures, adding a soloistic glimmer on occasion. Globe Staff,, 1 July 2019 Image Most avant-garde horn players then were letting go of the piano and all other chordal instruments, not to mention the structures of song form. New York Times, 25 May 2018 Catharsis’s lineup includes agile, sweet-toned Chilean singer Camila Meza, who also plays guitar in the band, laying down chordal support rather than extended improvisation. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, 20 Apr. 2018 In the work’s middle section, the saxophonist allowed his sound to blossom into a brighter, more open timbre until everything scaled back down to a whisper, and pianist Perdomo returned to that first chordal figure. Howard Reich,, 15 Dec. 2017 As always, guitarist Allemana backed his colleague/mentor with warm chordal support and answered him with flurries of notes. Howard Reich,, 1 Sep. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chordal.' 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

1848, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of chordal was in 1848

Dictionary Entries Near chordal

Cite this Entry

“Chordal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


chord·​al ˈkȯrd-ᵊl How to pronounce chordal (audio)
: of or relating to an anatomical cord (as the notochord or spinal cord)
used chiefly in combination
chordally adverb

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