See more synonyms for cord on
  1. a string or thin rope made of several strands braided, twisted, or woven together.
  2. Electricity. a small, flexible, insulated cable.
  3. a ribbed fabric, especially corduroy.
  4. a cordlike rib on the surface of cloth.
  5. any influence that binds or restrains: cord of marriage.
  6. Anatomy. a cordlike structure: the spinal cord; umbilical cord.
  7. a unit of volume used chiefly for fuel wood, now generally equal to 128 cu. ft. (3.6 cu. m), usually specified as 8 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 4 feet high (2.4 m × 1.2 m × 1.2 meters). Abbreviation: cd, cd.
  8. a hangman's rope.
verb (used with object)
  1. to bind or fasten with a cord or cords.
  2. to pile or stack up (wood) in cords.
  3. to furnish with a cord.

Origin of cord

1250–1300; Middle English coord(e) < Anglo-French, Old French corde < Latin chorda < Greek chordḗ gut; confused in part of its history with chord1
Related formscord·er, nouncord·like, adjective
Can be confusedchord cord cored. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for cord

twine, fiber, string, tendon, connection, link, tie, line, bond, cordage

Examples from the Web for cord

Contemporary Examples of cord

Historical Examples of cord

  • It is but the eye to the cord, the cord to the shaft, and the shaft to the mark.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The great bow creaked and groaned and the cord vibrated with the tension.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Johnson was stationed in the powder-magazine, in charge of the cord which held the bait.

    The Field of Ice

    Jules Verne

  • I said, holding up his wrist where the remnant of the cord was hanging.

  • These vermin are more to be feared than hangman's cord or headsman's axe.'

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for cord


  1. string or thin rope made of several twisted strands
  2. a length of woven or twisted strands of silk, etc, sewn on clothing or used as a belt
  3. a ribbed fabric, esp corduroy
  4. any influence that binds or restrains
  5. US and Canadian a flexible insulated electric cable, used esp to connect appliances to mainsAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): flex
  6. anatomy any part resembling a string or ropethe spinal cord
  7. a unit of volume for measuring cut wood, equal to 128 cubic feet
verb (tr)
  1. to bind or furnish with a cord or cords
  2. to stack (wood) in cords
Derived Formscorder, nouncordlike, adjective

Word Origin for cord

C13: from Old French corde, from Latin chorda cord, from Greek khordē; see chord 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 cord

c.1300, from Old French corde "rope, string, twist, cord," from Latin chorda "string of a musical instrument, cat-gut," from Greek khorde "string, catgut, chord, cord," from PIE root *ghere- "intestine" (see yarn). As a measure of wood (eight feet long, four feet high and wide) first recorded 1610s, so called because it was measured with a cord of rope.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cord in Medicine


  1. A long ropelike bodily structure, such as a nerve or tendon.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.