Definition of polyphonic in English:


Pronunciation /ˌpälēˈfänik/ /ˌpɑliˈfɑnɪk/

Translate polyphonic into Spanish


  • 1Producing many sounds simultaneously; many-voiced.

    ‘a 64-voice polyphonic sound module’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The polyphonic sounds are for compatible Nokia, Ericsson, Motorola, NEC, Panasonic, Sharp and Siemens models and you need WAP to download them.’
    • ‘It didn't just have polyphonic sound, it had a colour screen, WAP, and was Java-enabled for downloadable games.’
    • ‘The polyphonic string sound is something of a phenomenon but what is it all about?’
    • ‘The device contains 8MB of RAM, a greyscale screen and a 16-channel polyphonic sound system.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, on the consumer side, MIDP now supports advanced phone features such as 3D graphics, sprites and polyphonic sound, reinforcing the technology's credentials as an emerging gaming platform.’
    • ‘From the reader's point of view, this translation looks like a polyphonic swirl of voices.’
    • ‘Moreover, Bakhtin argues that in Dostoevsky's polyphonic novels the author is only an unprivileged voice taking part in his own internal dialogue, where his conflicting ideas are incarnated by various characters.’
    • ‘This is a very respectable, 64-voice polyphonic synth featuring four oscillators.’
    • ‘The polyphonic voices of the poem remind us at every turn that all of these larger issues concern a pervasive discomfort with the body.’
    • ‘The way forward is to view texts as speaking with polyphonic voices and performing multiple speech actions.’
    • ‘And in a Bakhtinian mode, she uses, in her more recent writings, polyphonic voices intermingling as an interface that brings out various jostling ideologies from various levels of psyche and history.’
    • ‘Meanings collide, conflict, merge, and diverge in the continuous multi-logic or polyphonic universe of the novel.’
    • ‘It may be stranger and more sublime to hear a polyphonic impression of George Michael's voice than to listen to the real thing one more time.’
    • ‘Attaining an ideal balance of voices in strictly polyphonic textures is one of the greatest challenges pianists face.’
    • ‘Sound quality is also excellent, with a three-voice polyphonic speaker, so the supplied ringtones sound great.’
    • ‘By taking up the idea of common sense as something that by definition cannot be fully grasped, Nesbit's book eludes interpretation as a polyphonic murmur of the multiple voices of history.’
    • ‘This fissure is expressed by Glatshteyn's use of a polyphonic narrative style in which the autobiographical voice is muted while other voices predominate.’
    tuneful, melodious, melodic, sweet-sounding, pleasant-sounding, sweet-toned, mellifluous, dulcet, lyrical
    1. 1.1Music (especially of vocal music) in two or more parts each having a melody of its own; contrapuntal.
      Compare with homophonic
      ‘polyphonic choral music’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is polyphonic music at its most pure and silky, somehow lighter and more contemplative than many of the compositions of Buxtehude's more illustrious colleague, Johann Sebastian Bach.’
      • ‘Take Johann Sebastian Bach's polyphonic masterpiece, The Art of the Fugue, add to it the modern technology of a computer-controlled piano, put it in the hands of a veteran concert pianist and this is the result.’
    2. 1.2Music (of an instrument) capable of producing more than one note at a time.
      ‘keyboards and other polyphonic instruments’
      • ‘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.’


Late 18th century from Greek poluphōnos (from polu- ‘many’ + phōnē ‘voice, sound’) + -ic.