• synonyms


[ kawr-deyt ]
/ ˈkɔr deɪt /


belonging or pertaining to the phylum Chordata, comprising the true vertebrates and those animals having a notochord, as the lancelets and tunicates.


a chordate animal.

Nearby words

chorda, chorda tendinea, chordal, chordamesoderm, chordata, chordate, chordates, chordee, chording, chorditis, chordo-

Origin of chordate

First recorded in 1885–90; see origin at Chordata Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for chordate


/ (ˈkɔːˌdeɪt) /


any animal of the phylum Chordata, including the vertebrates and protochordates, characterized by a notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord, and pharyngeal gill slits


of, relating to, or belonging to the Chordata

Word Origin for chordate

C19: from Medieval Latin chordata; see chord 1 + -ate 1
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 chordate


1885, noun and adjective, from Chordata.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for chordate


[ kôrdāt′, -dĭt ]


An animal of the phylum Chordata, which includes all vertebrates.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for chordate


[ kôrdāt′ ]

Any of a large group of animals of the phylum Chordata, having at some stage of development a notochord (flexible spinal column) and nerve cord running along the back, a tail stretching above and behind the anus, and gill slits. Chordates probably evolved before the Cambrian Period and are related to the hemichordates, echinoderms, and chaetognaths. The vertebrates, tunicates, and cephalochordates are the three main groups of chordates.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.