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

  • noun Responsive or antiphonal singing or chanting.
  • noun A composition that is sung responsively; an antiphon.
  • noun A responsive or reciprocal interchange, as of ideas or opinions.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Alternate or responsive singing, in which a choir is divided into two, each part singing alternate verses of the psalm or anthem: opposed to homophony
  • noun In responsorial singing, on the contrary, one singer alternates with the whole choir, as in the chanting of responsories. See responsory.
  • noun A psalm or an anthem so chanted.
  • noun A composition of several verses taken from different psalms and set to music.

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

  • noun A musical response; also, antiphonal chanting or signing.
  • noun An anthem or psalm sung alternately by a choir or congregation divided into two parts. Also figuratively.

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

  • noun music alternate, or responsive singing by a choir split into two parts; a piece sung or chanted in this manner
  • noun alternate, or responsive ideas or opinions; juxtaposition

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

  • noun alternate (responsive) singing by a choir in two parts
  • noun a verse or song to be chanted or sung in response


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The two took up a kind of antiphony, one against the other, now rising in volume, now dying down to a low grumble, again suddenly bursting like an explosion.

    The Leopard Woman

  • Shelley takes this scene of boundless audition to the Alps, and replays it with a sense of poetry aspiring, not to tame, but to run wild with antiphony and metrical disorder:

    Sounding Romantic: The Sound of Sound

  • The cathedral, of course, always adds powerfully to the atmospherics at work - whether wrapping an evocative halo around the divided-chorus antiphony in Elizabeth Poston's "Jesus Christ the Apple Tree" during Saturday's opening Advent wreath procession, or providing crisp reverberation to the athletically virtuosic brass-quintet playing from members of the Washington Symphonic Brass.


  • And there followed the antiphony of ardour that finds its first utterance — a subdued music, often interrupted, ever returning upon the same rich note.

    New Grub Street

  • And ever, as we marched, could the voices of Boev and the old soldier be heard speaking in antiphony, like two pipes being fluted by one and the same pair of lips.

    Through Russia

  • Over that part of England the winter solstice came down with a bitter antiphony of snow and frost.

    Death of a Fool

  • Graves had to listen to an antiphony of praise, sung by Ruth and Mrs. Hilliard.

    The Henchman

  • It was the antiphony of the youthful promenaders to the drinkers, the diastole of the heart above the stomach, the _elisire d'amore_ in rivalry with beer.

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 12, No. 32, November, 1873

  • And so the antiphony of discouragement ended in a laugh.

    The Bacillus of Beauty A Romance of To-day

  • To regard each day, as it dawns, as a "last day," and to make of its sunrise, of its noon, of its sun-setting, a rhythmic antiphony to the eternal gods -- this is to live in the spirit of the "grand style."

    Visions and Revisions A Book of Literary Devotions


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