vocal cords

plural noun

Definition of vocal cords

: either of two pairs of folds of mucous membranes that project into the cavity of the larynx and have free edges extending dorsoventrally toward the middle line

Examples of vocal cords in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Even without exercising their vocal cords, sea creatures can cause quite the ruckus with bodily percussion, like slapping the surface of the sea with their flippers or tails. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "In a First, Scientists Film Wild Grey Seals Clapping to Show Their Strength," 5 Feb. 2020 When hospital staff tried to remove the ventilator, Page’s vocal cords became swollen and doctors quickly inserted a breathing tube through a hole in her throat. al, "When emerging from the ICU is just the beginning of surviving coronavirus," 8 July 2020 The show starts at 6 p.m. ET, so warm up those vocal cords. CNN, "Start your Monday smart: George Floyd, elections, PGA, Phish, NASCAR," 7 June 2020 Other complications include laryngospasm, a spasm of the vocal cords, or pulmonary edema, fluid in the lungs, in people with a history of lung disease. USA Today, "Going to protest George Floyd's death? Here's how to protect yourself against tear gas, pepper spray," 2 June 2020 This maneuver lifts the epiglottis and brings the vocal cords into view. Clayton Dalton, The New Yorker, "The Risks of Normalizing the Coronavirus," 27 May 2020 Neither your neighbors nor your vocal cords see much in the way of short-term positives either. New York Times, "In Defense of a Good Cry, and Other Options for ‘Losing It’," 7 May 2020 This requires threading a plastic breathing tube down the throat and past the vocal cords into the upper chest, which conscious patients will instinctively fight. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, "Life After the ICU," 22 Apr. 2020 Then and now, his vocal cords sound like a pair of two-by-fours upholstered in velveteen. Chris Richards, Washington Post, "Sam Hunt made country music feel more like rap. But now the seams are showing.," 17 Apr. 2020

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

1757, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vocal cords

Time Traveler for vocal cords

Time Traveler

The first known use of vocal cords was in 1757

See more words from the same year

Statistics for vocal cords

Last Updated

13 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vocal cords.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vocal%20cords. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for vocal cords

vocal cords


English Language Learners Definition of vocal cords

: the thin pieces of folded tissue in your throat that help you to make sounds with your voice

vocal cords

noun plural

Kids Definition of vocal cords

: a pair of folds of tissue that extend across the inside of the larynx and that produce the voice when air exhaled from the lungs causes them to tighten and vibrate

More from Merriam-Webster on vocal cords

Spanish Central: Translation of vocal cords

Nglish: Translation of vocal cords for Spanish Speakers

Comments on vocal cords

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
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!