- 2 Anatomyvariant spelling of cord.spinal chord
mid 16th century (in the anatomical sense): a later spelling (influenced by Latin chorda 'rope') of cord
In modern English there are two words spelled chord: the first is the musical term meaning ‘a group of notes sounded together,’ and the second is a technical term in mathematics, aeronautics, and engineering. Cord meaning ‘string or rope made from twisted strands’ is etymologically related to the second chord, but is now regarded as a distinct word. The anatomical term generally uses the spelling cord (as in spinal cord and vocal cord), although chord is an acceptable variant.