Definition of polyphonic in English:


Line breaks: poly|phon¦ic
Pronunciation: /pɒlɪˈfɒnɪk


  • 1Producing or involving many sounds or voices: a 64-voice polyphonic sound module figurative dialogue is a staple of all polyphonic novels
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    • The Z600 supports 32-voice polyphonic ringtones and sounds.
    • It has a 40-voice polyphonic sound system for ringtones, and operates on GSM and GPRS networks.
    • The phone has what's known as polyphonic sound, which means it has multiple ‘voices’ or tones.
  • 1.1 Music (Especially of vocal music) in two or more parts each having a melody of its own; contrapuntal: Compare with homophonic. polyphonic choral music
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    • The publication of polyphonic music, and particularly the Latin motets that Byrd insisted that East print, was not especially profitable.
    • Attwood attests that a partiality for the polyphonic music of JS Bach motivated Mozart to supplement his fortepiano with a pedal board.
    • When the Council of Trent inveighed against polyphonic music for sacred purposes, although the target of their arrows was Palestrina, they might just as well have been speaking of Gombert.
  • 1.2 Music (Of an instrument) capable of producing more than one note at a time: keyboards and other polyphonic instruments
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    • Using two iterations, I had nine polyphonic instruments up and running, with polyphony occasionally spilling over 100 notes simultaneously.
    • The Storm Music Studio now comes with 13 virtual instruments and also includes the new Shadow virtual analog polyphonic synth.
    • The harp becomes the polyphonic instrument of choice as will be continually explained.



More example sentences
  • One of its verses is set polyphonically in the 9th-century Musica enchiriadis, yet it is only in the 16th century that polyphonic settings, many of them designed for alternatim performance, proliferate.
  • As I have been arguing here, middle-class knowledge and ignorance are invoked strategically and polyphonically in ways that answer many needs at once.
  • CreamWare took some liberties and improved on the original by allowing the synth to be played polyphonically and integrating a multi-effects section.


late 18th century: from Greek poluphōnos (from polu- 'many' + phōnē 'voice, sound') + -ic.

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a small amount; a little