• synonyms


See more synonyms for polyphonic on Thesaurus.com
  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.
Show More

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


  1. music composed of relatively independent melodic lines or parts; contrapuntal
  2. many-voiced
  3. phonetics of, relating to, or denoting a polyphone
Show More
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



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

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper