The idiom "struck a chord" refers to anything that resonates emotionally or intellectually with someone. When something "strikes a chord," it typically evokes a strong emotional response or sparks a realization. This can happen through words, music, actions, or even visuals. It's like hitting the right note that makes someone feel a connection or have a sudden, strong understanding of something.
The phrase "struck a chord" is about hitting an emotional or intellectual sweet spot. When you say something has "struck a chord," it usually means it has touched you emotionally or made you think deeply. The term suggests a strong, immediate impact, almost like a musical chord that rings true and resonates.
Let's dig deeper into its key meanings and how it's used:
The phrase “struck a chord” is believed to have originated from the literal use of striking a chord on a musical instrument. The term “chord” in its musical sense can be traced back to 1694, as mentioned in “A Treatise of the Natural Grounds and Principles of Harmony” by William Holder. The phrase was used to describe the harmonious sound produced when a chord of a musical instrument was struck.
The idiomatic use of the phrase “struck a chord,” meaning to evoke an emotional response or resonate with someone, dates back to the early 1800s. An early instance of this usage can be found in an article titled “The Gossip,” published in the Boston Weekly Magazine on August 6, 1803. The article states:
"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."
To help you better understand how to use this phrase, let's look at some examples in different situations:
This idiom also pops up often in popular culture, indicating something that resonates strongly with people.
Here are some examples:
If you're looking for other ways to express the same idea, here are some options:
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"Struck a chord" means resonating emotionally or intellectually with someone. This phrase is used to describe something—a statement, idea, or experience—that deeply connects or feels relatable to an individual.
You can use this phrase as a verb in a sentence to show something that resonated with you or someone else. For example, "Her speech about mental health struck a chord with many people."
Yes, the phrase has both literal and figurative meanings. Literally, it refers to striking a musical chord on an instrument like a guitar or piano. Figuratively, it means something resonates emotionally or intellectually with someone.
The phrase "struck a chord" likely comes from music, where striking a chord produces a harmonious sound. The figurative meaning extends this to describe something that resonates with people on an emotional or intellectual level.
Generally, "struck a chord" is used in a positive sense to indicate that something resonated in a meaningful way. However, it can also be used in situations where something negative resonates strongly.
Yes, businesses can use this phrase in marketing to show that their product or message connects with their target audience on a deeper level.
Definitely. The phrase can be used to talk about something that resonates with a group of people, as in "The speaker's message about teamwork struck a chord with the employees."
Yes, the phrase often appears in reviews of movies, books, or music to indicate that the work resonated with audiences or critics.
Not necessarily. While the phrase often suggests a strong emotional or intellectual connection, it can also refer to a more casual recognition or agreement.
Mostly, yes. Both phrases imply that something has made an impact or found agreement, but "struck a chord" might suggest a more emotional connection than "resonated."
Understanding the phrase "struck a chord" can add depth to your language use. It's a versatile term that can be applied in many scenarios, from personal conversations to professional settings and even pop culture discussions.
Here's a quick recap: