vocal cords

plural noun

: 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Is there any physiological reason that a sneeze needs to involve the vocal cords? Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 28 Oct. 2022 That in turn loops under the aortic arch, part of the large artery carrying blood from the heart, and then travels back up the neck to the vocal cords. Jeffrey M. Rodgers, Scientific American, 29 Sep. 2022 Our mouth, throat and vocal cords form a surprisingly sophisticated musical instrument, and the richness and subtlety of our speech comes from exquisite control of their shape as air is pushed out of our lungs. Helen Czerski, WSJ, 23 Sep. 2022 The news comes amid Pearl Jam canceling consecutive shows this week in Vienna and Prague after Vedder damaged his throat and vocal cords singing amid hot, dusty, and smoky conditions at Lollapalooza Paris last Sunday. Jonathan Cohen, SPIN, 23 July 2022 The acidity helps with the throat and the vocal cords, to kind of clear them. New York Times, 19 Apr. 2022 For example, children have smaller lung sizes and shorter vocal cords. Tasnim Ahmed, CNN, 23 Feb. 2022 Vitale was instructed to go three months without talking to save his vocal cords and prevent the growths from getting larger. Jason Duaine Hahn, Peoplemag, 18 Aug. 2022 All of them had a set of muscles called vocal membranes, located above the vocal cords, reports the New York Times’ Oliver Whang. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1757, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vocal cords was in 1757

Dictionary Entries Near vocal cords

Cite this Entry

“Vocal cords.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vocal%20cords. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

vocal cords

noun plural
: either of two pairs of elastic folds of tissue in the larynx of which the lower pair produce the voice when air exhaled from the lungs causes them to vibrate

More from Merriam-Webster on vocal cords

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