power chord


: a combination of two tones consisting of a root and its fifth that is often used in rock music

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Over the past two decades, he's become a one-man army advancing the ukulele cause, turning the four-string axe into a supremely pliable musical vehicle, capable of generating everything from power chord rock to sensuously swinging jazz. San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Jan. 2023 As essential to the genre as a power chord is to hard rock. Los Angeles Times, 20 June 2022 An electric guitarist unleashes a series of triumphant power chords as fans hold their smartphone cameras aloft, the glowing screens dotting the darkened concert hall like fireflies. John Blake, CNN, 15 Oct. 2019 Brahms is also the primordial master of classical rock and roll, with his jagged and rhythmically obsessive power chords, and Langrée had the string section slash its way through such passages with strokes of an appropriate near-violence. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 31 July 2019 But all that music really came to life in concert, thanks to Mercury’s big voice and powerful strut, coupled with May’s hooky power chords and symphonic solos. Noel Murray, The Verge, 2 Nov. 2018 Minus a few rocking power chords, the cover is initially identical to the original. Mackenzie Cummings-grady, Billboard, 29 May 2018 Cuomo shredded through his power chords with a big grin on his face and decimated an awesome guitar solo before tackling the final chorus. Mackenzie Cummings-grady, Billboard, 13 June 2018 This band is nothing short of a national treasure, deftly able to smash politics, poetry, and power chords into a severe beating that feels like a warm hug (and proceeds to hang out on the couch of your cochlea for a few days afterward). Michael Andor Brodeur, BostonGlobe.com, 5 Apr. 2018 See More

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

First Known Use

1977, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of power chord was in 1977

Dictionary Entries Near power chord

Cite this Entry

“Power chord.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/power%20chord. Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

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