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Word of the Day
Sunday, July 31, 2016

Definitions for polyphonic

  1. consisting of many voices or sounds.
  2. Music. a) having two or more voices or parts, each with an independent melody, but all harmonizing; contrapuntal (opposed to homophonic). b) pertaining to music of this kind. c) 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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Citations for polyphonic
The animals were singing. The chorus was improvised but polyphonic, true music, and in that music Amy could hear joy and longing in equal parts. Jincy Willett, Amy Falls Down, 2013
... she spends years finding and interviewing her subjects, then weaves their testimonies into a polyphonic narrative that immerses the reader with relentless particularity in the individual and the collective experience of existence in the grinding jaws of history. Philip Gourevitch, "Stranger Than Fiction: Svetlana Alexievich," Human, April 21, 2015
Origin of polyphonic
Polyphonic can be traced to the Greek terms polýs meaning "many" and phōnḗ meaning "voice." It entered English in the late 1700s.