Music. polyphonic composition; counterpoint.
Phonetics. representation of different sounds by the same letter or symbol.
Origin of polyphony
Related formspo·lyph·o·nous, adjectivepo·lyph·o·nous·ly, adverb
First recorded in 1820–30, polyphony
is from the Greek
variety of tones. See poly-
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for polyphonyarrangement
Examples from the Web for polyphony
Historical Examples of polyphony
It is the polyphony in the sections of storm and stress that goes wrong.
The polyphony of the vocal parts is masterly and the melodic flow most charming.
His polyphony is clearer, his tone, always big, is more sonorous and individual.
The polyphony was simple and the aim of the composition was popularity.
He was a fine master of polyphony, and as a genuine composer is second only to Byrde.
British Dictionary definitions for polyphony
noun plural -nies
Derived Formspolyphonous, adjectivepolyphonously, adverb
polyphonic style of composition or a piece of music utilizing it
the use of polyphones in a writing system
Word Origin for polyphony
C19: from Greek poluphōnia diversity of tones, from poly- + phōnē speech, sound
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for polyphony
1828, "multiplicity of sounds," from Greek polyphonia "variety of sounds," from polyphonos "having many sounds or voices," from polys "many" (see poly-) + phone "voice, sound" (see fame (n.)). The meaning "counterpoint" (1864) is perhaps a back-formation from the adjective.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper