from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A devotional composition sung responsively as part of a liturgy.
  • noun A short liturgical text chanted or sung responsively preceding or following a psalm, psalm verse, or canticle.
  • noun Such a text formerly used as a response but now rendered independently.
  • noun A response; a reply.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A psalm, hymn, or prayer sung responsively or by alternation of two choirs, as in the English cathedral service.
  • noun In the liturgy or mass of both the Eastern and Western churches, as well as in the day-hours and other offices, a series of verses from the Psalms or other parts of Scripture, either in their original sequence or combined from various passages, sung as a prelude or conclusion to some part of the service.
  • noun A scriptural passage or original composition sung as an independent part of the service, and set to more elaborate music; an anthem.
  • noun An echo or a response.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A musical response; alternate singing or chanting. See antiphony, and antiphone.
  • noun A verse said before and after the psalms.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A devotional piece of music sung responsively.
  • noun A response or reply.

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

  • noun a verse or song to be chanted or sung in response


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

[Late Latin antiphōna, sung responses; see anthem.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French antiphone or Medieval Latin antiphōna, from Ancient Greek ἀντίφωνα (antiphōna, "responses, musical accords"), neuter plural substantive of ἀντίφωνος (antiphōnos, "concordant") from ἀντί (anti, "in return") + φωνή (phonē, "sound"). Compare anthem.


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