clav·​i·​chord | \ ˈkla-və-ˌkȯrd How to pronounce clavichord (audio) \

Definition of clavichord

: an early keyboard instrument having strings struck by tangents attached directly to the key ends

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from clavichord

clavichordist \ ˈkla-​və-​ˌkȯr-​dist How to pronounce clavichordist (audio) \ noun

Examples of clavichord in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As cracking leaves and creaking doors giving way to plaintive clavichords, Jaar bleeds atmosphere and rhythm into an unholy playground for Harrington's piercing guitar work. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 40 Greatest Dance Albums of the Decade: Staff List," 26 Nov. 2019 Before logging miles on this afternoon hike, we are treated to a soothing musical performance on the clavichord, an instrument dating back to 14th century Japan whose gentle notes amplify the enchanting whisper of the forest. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "Can the New Hermès Apple Watch Actually Help You Unplug?," 19 Nov. 2018 The group's timbre is sometimes altered by Wachsmann's subtle waves of electronics and Sandell's occasional use of clavichord and portative organ. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Jazz / Music / Post No Bills Swedish trumpeter Emil Strandberg brings lyrical grace to his austere free improvisation," 2 Feb. 2018 One may be 47 percent bassoon and 53 percent clavichord. Cade Metz, New York Times, "How A.I. Is Creating Building Blocks to Reshape Music and Art," 14 Aug. 2017 Later, this became the clavichord, then the harpsicord, then the pianoforte, which becomes the piano. National Geographic, "Fun and Games Led to Some of the World's Greatest Inventions," 11 Dec. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clavichord.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of clavichord

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for clavichord

Medieval Latin clavichordium, from Latin clavis key + chorda string — more at cord

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about clavichord

Time Traveler for clavichord

Time Traveler

The first known use of clavichord was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for clavichord

Cite this Entry

“Clavichord.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for clavichord


How to pronounce clavichord (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of clavichord

: a musical instrument that is similar to a piano and was played mostly in the past before the piano was invented

More from Merriam-Webster on clavichord

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clavichord Encyclopedia article about clavichord

Comments on clavichord

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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