One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In ancient Greek comedy: an ode sung in response to another, forming part of the parabasis.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in James Drake (d. 1707), political and medical writer. From Greek ἀντῳδή (in the parabasis of ancient Greek comedy) lyric passage responding to the ode (in Scholia (Byzantine Greek or earlier) on Aristophanes Wasps 1091, Clouds 298) from ancient Greek ἀντι- + ᾠδή.
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