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Definition of "counterpoint" []

  • Music Melodic material that is added above or below an existing melody. (noun)
  • Music The technique of combining two or more melodic lines in such a way that they establish a harmonic relationship while retaining their linear individuality. (noun)
  • Music A composition or piece that incorporates or consists of contrapuntal writing. (noun)
  • A contrasting but parallel element, item, or theme. (noun)
  • Use of contrasting elements in a work of art. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "counterpoint" in a sentence
  • "The term counterpoint originated in the fourteenth century, though the art designated by it had been practiced for several centuries previous."
  • "By the second act you get a good feeling for the characters 'personalities, and seeing them around the same table, arguing in counterpoint, works well."
  • "So, in counterpoint to what Steph said, fiction does often beget the act of poetry for me – it happened all through 2003, when I was producing stories that were simply not very good and failing to finish stories in general and despairing of my ability to plot."