[ pley-guh l ]
/ ˈpleɪ gəl /

adjective Music.

(of a Gregorian mode) having the final in the middle of the compass.Compare authentic(def 6a).

Nearby words

  1. placket,
  2. placode,
  3. placoderm,
  4. placoid,
  5. plafond,
  6. plagal cadence,
  7. plage,
  8. plagiarise,
  9. plagiarism,
  10. plagiarist

Origin of plagal

1590–1600; < Medieval Latin plagālis, equivalent to plag(a) plagal mode (apparently back formation from plagius plagal; see plage) + -ālis -al1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for plagal

British Dictionary definitions for plagal


/ (ˈpleɪɡəl) /


(of a cadence) progressing from the subdominant to the tonic chord, as in the Amen of a hymn
(of a mode) commencing upon the dominant of an authentic mode, but sharing the same final as the authentic mode. Plagal modes are designated by the prefix Hypo- before the name of their authentic counterpartsthe Hypodorian mode

Word Origin for plagal

C16: from Medieval Latin plagālis, from plaga, perhaps from Greek plagos side

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 plagal



1590s, from Medieval Latin plagalis, from plaga "the plagal mode," probably from plagius, from Medieval Greek plagius "plagal," in classical Greek "oblique," from plagos "side" (see plagio-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper