- consisting of many voices or sounds.
- having two or more voices or parts, each with an independent melody, but all harmonizing; contrapuntal (opposed to homophonic).
- pertaining to music of this kind.
- capable of producing more than one tone at a time, as an organ or a harp.
- Phonetics. having more than one phonetic value, as the letter s, that is voiced (z) in nose and unvoiced (s) in salt.
Origin of polyphonic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for polyphonic
It runs as a polyphonic symphony compared to the simple percussion section of the heart or the synchronized cellos of the liver.We're Talking About Depression All Wrong
August 20, 2014
He is not polyphonic,—to borrow a musical metaphor,—but monophonie.Iconoclasts
The tune is distinctly in the modern key of G major, and it is not polyphonic.
The polyphonic writing is matchless in its evenness; every part is as good as every other part.
We have seen how it grew out of organ playing and was at first polyphonic.
A few themes with polyphonic variations filled his simple life.Unicorns
- music composed of relatively independent melodic lines or parts; contrapuntal
- phonetics of, relating to, or denoting a polyphone
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for polyphonic
1782, formed in English from Greek polyphonos (see polyphony).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper