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polyphonic

[pol-ee-fon-ik]
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adjective
  1. consisting of many voices or sounds.
  2. Music.
    1. having two or more voices or parts, each with an independent melody, but all harmonizing; contrapuntal (opposed to homophonic).
    2. pertaining to music of this kind.
    3. capable of producing more than one tone at a time, as an organ or a harp.
  3. Phonetics. having more than one phonetic value, as the letter s, that is voiced (z) in nose and unvoiced (s) in salt.
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Origin of polyphonic

First recorded in 1775–85; polyphone + -ic
Related formspol·y·phon·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for polyphonically

Historical Examples

  • Frequently they took folk tunes and treated them polyphonically.

    Some Forerunners of Italian Opera

    William James Henderson

  • They are seldom set in sharp and vividly dramatic contrast, as with Wagner; nor are they polyphonically deployed.


British Dictionary definitions for polyphonically

polyphonic

adjective
  1. music composed of relatively independent melodic lines or parts; contrapuntal
  2. many-voiced
  3. phonetics of, relating to, or denoting a polyphone
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Derived Formspolyphonically, adverb
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 polyphonically

polyphonic

adj.

1782, formed in English from Greek polyphonos (see polyphony).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper