• synonyms


  1. (used with a plural verb) clothing, especially trousers, of corded fabric; corduroys.
Show More

Origin of cords

First recorded in 1770–80; plural of cord


  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.
Show More
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.
Show More

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for cords

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

Examples from the Web for cords

Contemporary Examples of cords

Historical Examples of cords

  • After the captain left him, he struggled hard to unloose the cords which bound him.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Cut these cords just as quickly as you can, and take us to the general.

  • The cords hurt his hands somewhat, and his legs were cramped.

  • He felt the cords about his wrists giving somewhat and he redoubled his efforts.

  • Suspend this affair inside your tent by means of cords or tapes.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

British Dictionary definitions for cords


pl n
  1. trousers, esp jeans, made of corduroy
Show More


  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
Show More
verb (tr)
  1. to bind or furnish with a cord or cords
  2. to stack (wood) in cords
Show More
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 cords



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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cords in Medicine


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