strike a chord

strike a chord

Variants

  1. strike a note; strike the note
  2. touch a chord; touch the chord
  3. touch a note; touch the note

Meaning

  • to trigger a strong memory or feeling based on which there can be a mutual interest
  • to create an emotional response to something or a situation
  • to have a mutual and common connection (usually emotional)
  • to be relevant or familiar with something

Example Sentences

  1. The two immediately struck a note on the basis of the fact that they follow the same faith. This has led to a beautiful marriage and a lifelong companionship.
  2. I usually cannot strike a chord with everybody but knowing that it can lead to some serious business opportunities, I can give it a shot.
  3. This sonnet strikes the notes that immediately bring all those who have been affected by the tsunami in tears.
  4. He and I struck a chord with a tele series that both of us had been following back at the time. We never knew that our relationship could blossom so much in during four years.
  5. I hope that my lecture has struck a note and that you will be able to use at least some lessons in real life outside this university.
  6. He kept looking at her and wondering if there were something that can help him strike a chord and help him talk to her.
  7. That poem touches the chord in all those affected by natural disasters.
  8. Perhaps one day it may strike a note of assent and lead to a change of heart.
  9. Prime Minister sought to strike a note of caution amid the excitement of approving the vaccine against Covid-19.
  10. Buddy’s story has touched a note with so many and has made a lasting impact.

Origin

The phrase originates from the 1800s from medieval times in England with the monarchy and court entertainment in high profile.

The phrase ‘strike a chord’ in its literal meaning of making a melodious musical sound on a stringed instrument can be traced back to 1694.

A Treatise of the Natural Grounds, and Principles of Harmony book by William Holder originally published in 1694.

“To this purpose, strike a Chord of a sounding Instrument, and at the same time, another Chord supposed to be in all respects Equal, i.e. in Length, Matter, Thickness, and Tension.”

The idiomatic use of the phrase to express the idea “evoke an emotional response” dates back to at least 1803 and is based on that earlier musical sense of the phrase.

The earliest printed record of the expression (in idiomatic sense) can be found in “The Gossip” in Boston Weekly Magazine published August 6, 1803:

“I am now in perfect good humour with all the world, and I will not, by peeping into these letters, run the risk of striking a chord, which not being in unison with my present feelings, might put the whole machine out of tune.”

Though, it’s difficult to find any early connection between “strike a chord” an “heart-string” — the latter being not a metaphor but a biological explanation of one component of the heart’s structure.

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