/ kɔːd; NAmE kɔːrd/ noun
( music ) two or more notes played together
( mathematics ) a straight line that joins two points on a curve
—picture at circle
—see also vocal cords
- strike / touch a chord (with sb)
sense 1 Middle English cord , from accord . The spelling change in the 18th cent. was due to confusion with chord in the mathematical sense. The original sense was agreement, reconciliation , later a musical concord or harmonious sound ; the current sense dates from the mid 18th cent.
sense 2 mid 16th cent. (in the anatomical sense): a later spelling (influenced by Latin chorda rope) of cord .