noun, plural an·tiph·o·nies.

alternate or responsive singing by a choir in two divisions.
a psalm, verse, etc., so sung; antiphon.
a responsive musical utterance.

Origin of antiphony

First recorded in 1585–95; antiphon + -y3
Related formsan·ti·phon·ic [an-tuh-fon-ik] /ˌæn təˈfɒn ɪk/, adjectivean·ti·phon·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for antiphony

Historical Examples of antiphony

  • He consumed the cleansings and turned to read the antiphony with resonant voice.

    Under the Witches' Moon

    Nathan Gallizier

  • Antiphony was the ancient mode of rendering music, in which two sets of voices sang alternately.

  • According to its derivation (from ant-hymn, responsive or alternate song) the word anthem was at first synonymous with antiphony.

  • The culprits poured out for a while an antiphony of explanations, which died out at last in a miserable silence.

    St. Ives

    Robert Louis Stevenson

  • He looked back fondly to the days when he had sung his part in the antiphony in the magnificent cathedral at Manila.

British Dictionary definitions for antiphony


noun plural -nies

the antiphonal singing of a musical composition by two choirs
any musical or other sound effect that answers or echoes another
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 antiphony

1590s, from Greek antiphonos (see antiphon) + -y (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper