Definition of cord in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Thin, flexible string or rope made from several twisted strands.

    ‘her feet were tied with cord’
    • ‘They lace their boots with heavy-duty parachute cord and wrap extra cord around their ankles.’
    • ‘To keep the deer from munching on the daylilies out front, they put a single strand of white cord along the entire length of the split rail fence.’
    • ‘I pulled out a strand of 550 cord and started to tie his hands up and connect them to his waist.’
    • ‘Ryan, thinking quickly, snatched the crossbow along with a coil of thin cord attached to the side of the saddlebag.’
    • ‘Make sure you make a hole to thread cord or ribbon through before drying in a very low oven or just leaving in a warm place for a few days before spraying.’
    • ‘It is simple enough to tie loops into a length of cord but you need those loops to stay open.’
    • ‘Now, bind your thumb below the knuckle, a handkerchief works well but any rope or cord will do.’
    • ‘They bound our hands and feet with parachute cord and duct tape.’
    • ‘Pierce small holes through the hands, and string the clowns together with thin silver cord.’
    • ‘Cut the string or cord to the desired length, and thread it through the first bead.’
    • ‘Yang makes his own sandals out of heavy rope laced with plastic cord.’
    • ‘Suddenly he was behind me, a length of white cord stretched tightly between his two hands.’
    • ‘Thread one end of the doubled cord through the top holes of the front cover, all the pocket pages and the back cover.’
    • ‘She looked down at her fingers, which were slowly twisting the length of blue cord from the market around one finger.’
    • ‘Alaine nodded and began rummaging round in the small dark brown suede money pouch she wore on a loose thin strand of black cord around her waist.’
    • ‘Eventually she chose a length of blue cord, and paid for it.’
    • ‘Add a tag, and tie with a length of color-coordinated cord.’
    • ‘Round his neck, he wore one single piece of jewelry; a silver ring tied through with a simple black, thin strip of cord.’
    • ‘A length of cord or wire, or a light batten tacked across the legs of the bow, is all that is really needed to hold the shape.’
    • ‘Form a large ball of the soap around a 16 inch loop of cotton rope or cord to for the ‘soap-on-a-rope’ look.’
    string, thread, thong, lace, ribbon, strap, tape, tie, line, rope, cable, wire, ligature
    twine, yarn, elastic, braid, cording, braiding
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[count noun]A length of cord.
      ‘a dressing-gown cord’
      • ‘Mary stands within a rayed mandorla, dressed in a mantle fastened by cords, over a gown.’
      • ‘Also, the rails carried black cords with black tassels hanging down, giving a sombre effect to the wooden coffin clamped to the trolley platform.’
      • ‘Then she took a tangle of rope, tied all their legs together, and wove a long cord through those bonds.’
      • ‘Wrap tassel drapery cords around the pillow and tie them to the chair.’
      • ‘Intertwined around it are four strong cords, the material undefined.’
      • ‘He spread the backup tent among two sturdy branches, tying it fast with strong cords and camouflaging the bottom with Namir's help.’
      • ‘The bungee jumpers now use special harnesses and strong elastic cords.’
      • ‘It lacked a cover; instead, a cord fastened together leaves of heavy black paper.’
      • ‘A pendant light, hung from a cord or chain, typically offers task or general lighting for a table or counter.’
      • ‘Tie-backs are a decorative effect using a cord, chain, rope or cloth to secure the draperies back away from the window.’
      • ‘Take one of the center cords and thread it through the middle hole of the covers and pages from the front of the book and thread the other center cord through the book holes from the back of the book.’
      • ‘This makes packing a lot simpler, and it allows the user to customize the lengths of the cords to the particular purpose - cutting down on tangling and bulk.’
      • ‘The cooled glass goes to the finisher, who adds beaded ribbon, hemp hanging cords or votive candles.’
      • ‘It was also off the shoulder, but strong cords and ribbon assured it would stay in place.’
      • ‘She has been placed in a room on her own in the medical wing of the prison and has had the cords of her dressing gown and pyjamas removed along with her shoe laces.’
      • ‘The stylist will make tight cornbraids with your own hair and stitch the wefts (extensions come sewn onto a fine cord or base) into it.’
      • ‘The boy paid no attention to the boy in the glass case, and continued to restrain the girl with cords and chains of some sort.’
      • ‘He rapped on the door once, and it opened to reveal a wizened old woman carrying a cord with knots in it.’
      • ‘In your marketplace they traded with you beautiful garments, blue fabric, embroidered work and multicolored rugs with cords twisted and tightly knotted.’
      • ‘Dangling and/or string-like things such as shoelaces, cords, gold chains and dental floss also make excellent toys.’
    2. 1.2[count noun]An anatomical structure resembling a length of cord (e.g. the spinal cord, the umbilical cord)
      ‘the baby was still attached to its mother by the cord’
      • ‘Thus, 103 cases consisted of a fetus attached to the placenta by an intact cord.’
      • ‘MRI is recommended when patients have suspected spinal cord compression or other neurologic symptoms.’
      • ‘Heart valves are made up of flaps of thin, strong, tissue attached to the heart with fibrous cords.’
      • ‘Epidural spinal cord compression from metastatic cancer is common and serious but potentially treatable.’
      • ‘The other way is to inject collagen or fat to plump up the cords and bring them back to youthful suppleness.’
      • ‘Some of the endothelial cells formed uncanalized cords.’
      • ‘Tendons are the thick, fibrous cords that attach muscles to bone.’
      • ‘Any preoperative symptoms of axillary web syndrome, such as palpable or visible tissue cords, pain, or limitation of range of motion, were documented.’
      • ‘Tendinitis is inflammation or irritation of a tendon - any one of the thick fibrous cords that attach muscles to bone.’
      • ‘As they do this, they travel through a gap in the muscles of the abdomen, which then closes around the cords by which the testicles are attached.’
      • ‘A breech delivery or one with an umbilical cord around the neck is considered a sign of good fortune.’
      • ‘The displacement of the ventral nerve cord coincided with that of body wall muscles in mutants.’
      • ‘The tendon is a cord that attaches a muscle to another body part.’
      • ‘In summary, umbilical cord torsion is an uncommon cause of intrauterine fetal death.’
      • ‘The spinal cord is severed at the cervical vertebrae.’
      • ‘The epithelial component showed tubules and cords of cuboidal cells with pink cytoplasm and small oval nuclei.’
      • ‘Arrows indicate the position of the ventral nerve cord in the ventral hypodermal ridge.’
      • ‘After being cultured for four days, the heart cells migrated toward the center of the gel to form a dense cord of tissue that extended between the two tethers.’
      • ‘The interfollicular area and medullary cords were heavily infiltrated by mature plasma cells with a sheetlike arrangement in some areas.’
      • ‘A cluster of nerve cells within the cord or brain is called a nucleus.’
    3. 1.3[count noun]An electric flex.
      ‘she began toying with the telephone cord’
      • ‘Phone and electrical cords snake from it, down inside the wall.’
      • ‘At the gallery, thick black electrical cords lay slack along the floor, connecting these polyluminous personages to their respective wall sockets.’
      • ‘The door opening on to Winchester Road had been kept open for some of Monday as an electrical cord was run out for workmen outside.’
      • ‘Prevent falls by keeping floors clutter-free and electrical cords tacked down.’
      • ‘Cameras and lights were crowded around him; electric cords snaked around the floor.’
      • ‘A photograph of an electric cord running across a red wooden floor with yellow skirting board and white wall looks just like one of his simpler paintings.’
      • ‘He shows no qualms about exposing the mechanical underpinnings of a piece, making the power cords and electrical transformer integral parts of the work.’
      • ‘This may include modifying the environment by moving objects such as electrical cords or furniture to reduce tripping and falling.’
      • ‘Always unplug the power cord before cleaning the unit.’
      • ‘Walking around the work we noticed that an electric cord ran from inside the castle but wasn't plugged in.’
      • ‘Each lamp has an electrical cord that leads from the top of the star.’
      • ‘Three rings then four; I twirled the phone cord around my finger.’
      • ‘Use the appropriate sized power cords to carry the electric load.’
      • ‘Annie twirled the phone cord around her fingers as she spoke slowly to the Real Estate agent.’
      • ‘Many works are connected to the wall by wires or electrical cords, which generate an invisible but dynamic source of energy in her work.’
      • ‘Check electrical cords and keep them out of reach.’
      • ‘She was used to the slight buzz of the electrical cords, but these wires hummed.’
      • ‘So the last thing he wanted was a big-screen TV and a mess of electrical wires and cords invading the calm.’
      • ‘Secure all electric cords out of your pet's vision range and reach - including those used for decorating purposes.’
      • ‘And the electrical cords to which they were attached burst into flames.’
  • 2[mass noun] Ribbed fabric, especially corduroy.

    ‘the cloth for their suits was cord’
    [as modifier] ‘cord jackets’
    • ‘I dressed up in a long skirt and black cord jacket and we went shopping first.’
    • ‘Confirmation comes when the photo-shoot of the duo comes in - Susannah has her bosom stuffed into the very same cord jacket.’
    • ‘The shop has interesting cord and velvet options, which can translate easily from day into evening.’
    • ‘He was wearing yellow brown shirt and beige cord trousers.’
    • ‘A superior cord trouser, not in the usual cotton, but in a wool-rich cord, for a more natural feel and extra warmth.’
    • ‘These maternity cord trousers have the same cut as our award winning jeans, with a comfortable under bump fit and soft front waistband.’
    • ‘Yes, I was that person who wore purple cord dungarees and a purple jumper, like some ghastly walking advert for Cadbury's Dairy Milk.’
    • ‘The countryside was a major theme with rustic cord jodhpurs, pedal pushers with buttons at the knee, checked shirts and Aran sweaters.’
    • ‘Afforded showed the latest in military, cord, denim and smart fashions for the stylish man.’
    • ‘Look for green and peach in denim or cord with chevron stripes and floaty dresses.’
    1. 2.1Corduroy trousers.
      ‘he was dressed in faded black cords’
      • ‘You can get away with wearing your sneakers with almost any type of trouser - track pants, khakis, drawstring pants, jeans, or cords.’
      • ‘Jeans, cords, cargos, or any cool pair of flat-front pants - basically, everything but a suit.’
      • ‘Jeans, cords and heavier types of trousers can be folded, as their thickness will generally prevent them from creasing.’
      • ‘In a tan velour hooded zip sweatshirt, blue cords and a plaid rust, blue and cream button down, Rob tells me that I look too pale in browns.’
      • ‘Fall 2002 is marked by a retro look, which is highlighted by the re-emergence of corduroys, only these cords have thin ridges rather than the thicker ones that were popular last year.’
      • ‘A little dressier than jeans, cords are also more appropriate for the winter months.’
      • ‘Dark brown is going to be huge this fall, so wear it with a pair of dark brown leather shoes or boots, jeans, cords or cargos, a light matching top, and a jean jacket.’
      • ‘And the label's range is growing - having recently added cords and mini-skirts to the line in a palette that ranges from dazzling fucshia and apple to earthy khaki and grey.’
      • ‘I also buy them denim overalls and jeans, wide-wale cords, denim baseball caps, and fire-engine red turtlenecks.’
      • ‘For fall, there will be jeans, tops, sweaters and cords.’
      • ‘Wear it with: Jeans, cords or fine leather pants.’
      • ‘The blouse works brilliantly with a pair of skinny jeans or stovepipe cords and a tailored jacket.’
      • ‘I don't recall what he wore, but his typical attire consisted of cords or khakis, a button-down shirt and blazer or sweater.’
    2. 2.2A cord-like rib on fabric.
      • ‘Updated in wide chunky cord, team with a wrap skirt and chunky polo neck.’
  • 3A measure of cut wood (usually 128 cu. ft, 3.62 cubic metres).

    • ‘Usually we put up about five finely split cords of wood, at least three to make syrup and the rest for our wood stove-fireplace.’
    • ‘The carriage it was mounted on was chained to the ground while they were still stacking cords of wood nearby.’
    • ‘Several cords of wood were stacked under a car-port roof and also they had a large, brick barbecue with a handy, half-gallon of kerosene in a plastic container.’
    • ‘From these estimates he struck an average of about thirteen for the number of cords of wood needed by a single family.’
    • ‘As well, in 1992 it secured a contract for delivery of 3,500 cords of pulpwood to a mill in Bucksport, Maine.’
    • ‘The camp hosts sold cords of wood, posted the daily high- and low-tide schedules, stocked a rack of brochures, and answered questions.’
    • ‘Alone at home in the evening, after splitting a goodly portion of a cord of firewood I am hungry, but tired.’
    • ‘One and a half cords of wood burned down to a twenty-four foot path of coals glowing at a brisk 1,000 degrees when Willey first stepped on it.’
    • ‘At Frog Moor Plantation, a standard expectation of one and one-half cords of wood per day was established for most slaves.’
    • ‘I told them I need soldiers, guns, and a few cords of wood.’
    • ‘The Solins have harvested some 10,000 cords of pulpwood and 200,000 feet of saw timber in the last two decades.’
    • ‘The in-kind payments included cords of wood, hauling hay, a hat, plowing, shoemaking, as well as wheat, flour, corn, and coffee.’
    • ‘P T Barnum tells a story about how his grandfather tricked a woodchopper into cutting up a cord of firewood for him.’
    • ‘Dominick entered the kitchen with a heavy cord of wood, his thick arms bulging under the load.’
    • ‘Today I got two cords of seasoned wood delivered, and I started tossing it in the barn.’
    • ‘Firewood is generally sold by volume, the most common measure being the cord.’
    • ‘To produce 1,000 copies of an average-sized book, you need about one cord of wood.’
    • ‘Will you go through more than 10 cords of wood in a year?’
    • ‘The full bale's width of insulation from the ground to the skylight allows us to burn barely two cords of wood a year for all our cooking and heating needs.’


  • Attach a cord to.

    ‘a corded curtain track’
    ‘you will need to cord the blind’
    • ‘Plus, in instances when you need to carry larger gear, the bag can be removed, and gear can be bungee corded directly to the rack.’
    • ‘To stabilize a buttonhole, cord it with buttonhole twist, gimp or elastic thread.’
    • ‘Don't ask why, but Jackson's bungee cording shoeboxes of cookies to our bikes as we set out on a long early evening tour of the bike path.’


See chord


  • cut the (umbilical) cord

    • Cease to rely on someone or something protective or supportive and begin to act independently.

      ‘the true innovators of hard rock, like Jimi Hendrix, finally cut the umbilical cord to traditional rock 'n' roll’
      • ‘Methinks it's about time I cut the cord on this post as well as this post in which I got somewhat riled at what I thought was Tim chucking aspersions my way.’
      • ‘As much as I love this shack, it's time to go, and I'm perfectly capable of cutting the cord and heading up the hill.’
      • ‘‘I never really cut the umbilical cord from Scotland,’ he shrugs.’
      • ‘Leaving his boyhood team Rangers for Ewood Park last September, he cut the umbilical cord with a club who had nurtured him into, as of his last season in Scotland, a treble-delivering leader.’
      • ‘She will commiserate with you, and share her reason for finally cutting the cord was the same, she caught him cheating.’
      • ‘Two years ago, the charismatic young republican seemed to have marched the islanders close to cutting the cord with Copenhagen.’
      • ‘They argue that, ‘savvy autocrats have learned how to cut the cord between growth and freedom, enjoying the benefits of the former without the risks of the latter.’’
      • ‘Are we to believe that those who reach the heady heights cut the umbilical cord because to rub shoulders with the powerbrokers is more fashionable than remembering from whence they came?’
      • ‘For that matter the house where I heard the basement band is still there, but when my father moved off the block this year he cut the cord.’
      • ‘They had to cut the cord, start fresh, and in terms of what the public is perceiving, they needed a whole new tone.’


Middle English: from Old French corde, from Latin chorda, from Greek khordē gut, string of a musical instrument.