chord, cord

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The noun chord refers to a combination of musical tones played at the same time.

  • Carlo reached for his guitar and played a few chords.

Chord can also refer to a feeling or emotion.

  • The plight of the refugees struck a chord in the hearts of many Canadians.

Chord is also used in geometry and mathematics.

  • In geometry, a chord refers to the line segment between two points on a given curve.

In all other senses, use the spelling cord. The noun cord can refer to a thick, strong string; a cordlike structure in anatomy; a cable; or a measure of cut wood.

  • Meredith tied the branches with a cord.
  • Cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord.
  • Plug the kettle cord into the wall socket.
  • How many cords of wood does your fireplace consume?

In the plural, cords is an informal short form for pants made of corduroy.

  • Chris wore a pair of slim-fitting white cords.

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