con·​tra·​pun·​tal | \ ˌkän-trə-ˈpən-tᵊl How to pronounce contrapuntal (audio) \

Definition of contrapuntal

2 : of, relating to, or marked by counterpoint

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from contrapuntal

contrapuntally \ ˌkän-​trə-​ˈpən-​tᵊl-​ē How to pronounce contrapuntally (audio) \ adverb

Examples of contrapuntal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Then there are the vocal harmonies, full-on chorale-like sections incorporating as many as eight voices at a time, with contrapuntal lines and distinctive harmony choices that have long been the hallmarks of his sound. Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times, "Brian Wilson shakes off concerns with confident, star-studded show at the Greek," 13 Sep. 2019 One of the main challenges of the suites involves projecting the music’s contrapuntal textures. New York Times, "Anner Bylsma, Eminent Cellist With an Ear for the Past, Dies at 85," 8 Aug. 2019 One of the main challenges of the suites involves projecting the music’s contrapuntal textures. Anthony Tommasini,, "Anner Bylsma, eminent cellist with an ear for the past," 10 Aug. 2019 By the time a few dozen women are dancing in circles around a maypole, even the camerawork — with its sinuous flow and contrapuntal push-ins and pullouts — seems to be tightening its grip on the visitors. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "‘Midsommar’ Review: Building a Horror Møusetrap With Swedish Bait," 2 July 2019 But these contrapuntal beats are too infrequent, and the director, Urie, hasn’t worked enough nuance into the more antic sections. Celia Wren, Washington Post, "Too much monotone in ‘Bright Colors’ at Studio Theatre," 15 July 2019 The crispness with which the orchestra articulated the contrapuntal passages and the grandeur of climactic sections pointed to a conductor who valued every measure of this music. Howard Reich,, "CSO review: A bracing evening of Gershwin, Ravel and Stravinsky," 14 July 2019 Their contrapuntal skills and choral writing inspired Mozart. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Mainly Mozart thrills with a rare Mozart cantata and a well-known violinist," 16 June 2019 Their insinuating, sensual lines unfold together, but the musical effect is not exactly contrapuntal: the two voices sound almost codependent. New York Times, "Review: A Long-Awaited New Opera Is a Raucous Beauty," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contrapuntal.' 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 contrapuntal

1816, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for contrapuntal

Italian contrappunto counterpoint, from Medieval Latin contrapunctus — more at counterpoint entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about contrapuntal

Statistics for contrapuntal

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contrapuntal

The first known use of contrapuntal was in 1816

See more words from the same year

Comments on contrapuntal

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


concealment of treason or felony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!