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Difference between chord or cord

chord or cord

In the English language, “chord” and “cord” are two terms that sound identical but have different meanings and uses, a phenomenon known as homophones. This distinction is crucial for clear communication, especially in written form where the context must clarify the meaning.

Quick Facts Table

Part of SpeechNounNoun
MeaningA combination of notes played simultaneously, in music.A thin, flexible string or rope made from several twisted strands.
UsagePrimarily used in the context of music.Used in various contexts, including clothing, electrical appliances, and more.

Difference Between Chord OR Cord

Definition of Chord

A chord refers to a group of (typically three or more) notes sounded together, as a basis of harmony.

Definition of Cord

A cord is a length of string, rope, wire, or cable used to tie, bind, or connect something.

Origin of Chord

  • Chord originates from the Middle English cord, which in turn comes from the Latin accordare, meaning “to agree” or “be in harmony”.

Origin of Cord

  • Cord comes from the Latin chorda, meaning “string” or “rope”, which is derived from the ancient Greek khordē.


  • Both chord and cord are pronounced the same way: /kɔːrd/.

Comparing Chord and Cord

The main difference between chord and cord lies in their context of use. A chord is a musical term, indicating a harmonious set of notes, while a cord is a physical object, often used for binding or connecting. This distinction is crucial in both spoken and written English to convey the correct meaning.

Comparison Table

ContextMusicPhysical Objects
FunctionCreates HarmonyBinds or Connects
CompositionNotesMaterials like fiber, plastic, or metal
SymbolismHarmony and Convergence in MusicConnection and Binding in Physical World

Usage in Sentences with Explanations

Use of Chord in Sentences

  1. The guitarist strummed a perfect chord that resonated throughout the hall.
    • This sentence describes a musical action, emphasizing the harmony created by playing multiple notes together.
  2. Learning to play a chord on the piano can be challenging for beginners.
    • Refers to the skill of combining different notes to produce a harmonious sound in music.
  3. The final chord of the symphony was powerful and moving.
    • Indicates the use of a chord in a musical composition to evoke emotions.
  4. She taught herself how to form a chord using just three fingers.
    • Describes the physical act of playing music, focusing on the technique of chord formation.
  5. The song’s chord progression is both complex and beautiful.
    • Talks about the sequence of chords in a piece of music, highlighting its aesthetic and technical aspects.

Use of Cord in Sentences

  1. I need a longer cord to plug in my lamp across the room.
    • This sentence describes a common use of a cord as an electrical cable.
  2. He tied the package with a strong cord before shipping.
    • Refers to using a cord as a binding material for securing items.
  3. The curtains were drawn back with a decorative cord.
    • Illustrates the use of a cord as a functional and aesthetic accessory in home decor.
  4. We used a nylon cord for the camping trip to tie down the tent.
    • Describes the practical use of a cord in outdoor activities for stability and security.
  5. The ancient manuscript was bound with a thin leather cord.
    • Highlights a historical application of a cord for binding books or manuscripts.


Understanding the difference between chord and cord is essential for clear communication, especially in contexts where both musical terms and physical objects are involved. Despite their identical pronunciation, these words convey distinct concepts in music and physical applications.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • What is a chord in music?
    • A chord is a combination of three or more notes played simultaneously, creating harmony.
  • What are some common uses of a cord?
    • Cords are used for a variety of purposes, including as electrical cables, ropes for binding, and decorative elements in clothing and home decor.
  • Can the word cord also refer to a measure of wood?
    • Yes, a cord is a unit of measure for wood, typically used to quantify firewood.
  • How can I remember the difference between chord and cord?
    • Remember that chord relates to harmony in music, while cord refers to a physical string or rope.
Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith, writer at, blends creativity with insight, exploring technology, culture, and psychology. With a background in English Literature, she crafts engaging stories inspired by nature and urban life. Outside writing, she enjoys exploring and continuous learning.View Author posts

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