Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Relating to or resembling an antiphon.
  • adj. Answering responsively, as in antiphony.
  • adj. Occurring or responding in turns; alternating: "this curious antiphonal relationship between the two men” ( Henry A. Kissinger).
  • n. An antiphonary.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A book of antiphons or anthems sung or chanted at a liturgy; an antiphonary or antiphoner.
  • n. An antiphon; a piece sung or chanted in an antiphonal manner.
  • adj. Characterized by antiphones or antiphony; incorporating alternate, or responsive singing by a choir split into two parts.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to antiphony, or alternate singing; sung alternately by a divided choir or opposite choirs.
  • n. A book of antiphons or anthems.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or marked by antiphony or responsive singing; antiphonary.
  • n. A book of antiphons or anthems; an antiphonary.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. bound collection of antiphons
  • adj. containing or using responses; alternating
  • adj. relating to or resembling an antiphon or antiphony

Etymologies

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  • "A high-pitched wail broke from behind me, and I started back.... Phaedre had come through the gate, Gussie and another female slave behind her. She ran through the garden, screaming 'Mama!' as her white shift caught the light of hte flames that now burst through holes in the shed's roof, showering sparks....

    I closed my eyes convulsively, trying not to hear Phaedre's frantic cries and the antiphonal babble of her comforters."
    —Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (NY: Bantam Dell, 2001), 756

    January 26, 2010

  • "From gates far apart the watchdogs, awakened by our steps in the silence, would set up an antiphonal barking such as I still hear at times of an evening, and among which the Boulevard de la Gare (when the public gardens of Combray were constructed on its site) must have taken refuge, for wherever I may be, as soon as they begin their alternate challenge and response, I can see it again with its lime-trees, and its pavement glistening beneath the moon."
    -- Swann's Way by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, p 124 of the Vintage International paperback edition

    December 28, 2007