pla·​gal | \ ˈplā-gəl How to pronounce plagal (audio) \

Definition of plagal

1 of a church mode : having the keynote on the fourth scale step — compare authentic sense 4a
2 of a cadence : progressing from the subdominant chord to the tonic — compare authentic sense 4b

First Known Use of plagal

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for plagal

Medieval Latin plagalis, ultimately from Greek plagios oblique, sideways, from plagos side; akin to Latin plaga net, region, Greek pelagos sea

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about plagal

Time Traveler for plagal

Time Traveler

The first known use of plagal was in 1597

See more words from the same year

Statistics for plagal

Cite this Entry

“Plagal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on plagal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plagal

Comments on plagal

What made you want to look up plagal? 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

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
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!