- To be in synchronization or harmony; to come to an agreement
- To bestow or present something
- Alignment or mutual understanding
- A resolution or deal, especially legally, politically, or diplomatically; a treaty
Sometimes we do everything we can and still can't bring everyone in our lives into accord. It can be frustrating when people disagree over seemingly trivial issues, e.g. where to go for dinner or whose car to drive. Since our own lives are busy enough, we can try according the responsibility of resolution to the more diplomatic members of the group. Let's just hope the mediators remain in accord with each other!
As a verb, accord means to be congruent or to be of one mind, often referring to ideas or decisions. Two entities may accord with one another if they share something in common, like a core belief or a tendency. Oftentimes, the word accord is seen as the prepositional phrase accord with as this usage of the verb deals with how one thing is connected to another. For example, a house's high market value might accord with the city's impressive school system. When things fail to accord, it means that they do not have enough commonalities to draw a worthy comparison, or else they diverge on the key traits or points under consideration. Whereas your parent's strict disciple may have played a role in teaching you right from wrong, their tactics did not accord with your brother's unscrupulous reputation. In more archaic usage, accord can appear without an object, in which case it means to bring two or more things together, or adapt one thing to another. Though a bit old-fashioned, it would be correct to say that the two warring football teams desperately needed to accord, or put aside their differences, but, to our modern ears, it sounds like something is necessary with which to accord.
Additionally, to accord means to offer or give something, such as a title or responsibility. When someone completes a remarkable feat, you should accord them the praise they deserve! When someone inherits or achieves a new position, they are also accorded the rights and powers that come with it (along with, of course, their salary).
Accord can also be used as noun denoting togetherness or coherence. At a family dinner, a mother may plead for just one night of accord between her children, a request that she expects to fall on deaf ears. Something is usually in accord with something else when those two things are proportionate or concurrent in some way. Your delicious new recipe could have wowed your guests; however, they were not surprised to read that it was in accord with one found in Julia Child's cookbook. You could also say that something is out of accord when it does not correspond with another thing. If your kitchen is out of accord with the latest culinary style, you might need to refresh your layout according to your love of cooking!
Within political and diplomatic arenas an accord refers to legal resolution or agreement. Lawyers attempt to move towards an accord that will benefit their clients. Sometimes an argument or dispute is so contentious that the final accord is just as big of a relief to both parties. An armistice or a treaty between nations would be one of these critical accords.
Example: The customers' cold scowls seem to accord with the dropping temperatures.
Example: At the inauguration, the president is accorded the powers of the state.
Example: Sometimes accord is looked upon with contempt by opposite political parties.
Example: You could say that the Treaty of Versailles was a worldwide accord!
The word accord comes to us from the Old French word accorder, which means to concur, to consent, or to agree. Tracing its way back to the Latin accordare, both infinitive forms carry the connotation of "being of one heart or mind," as the affix -cor (e.g. coronary, corazón) suggests. As a verb, accord made its way into English in the 12th century. Only 100 years later did it come to be used as a noun, maybe as the result of a "heart to heart!"
Accords: This word can be used as the third person present form of the verb accord.
Example: Dr. Pratt's new bone discovery accords with that of modern archaeologists.
Example: Hopefully, two or three accords are not necessary for true reconciliation.
Accorded: This verb is the past tense form of accord; it is used when someone or something has been in agreement in the past.
Example: His testimony had not accorded with his earlier comments about the accident.
According: This is the present progressive form of the verb accord, used when things are in the midst of, or continuing to be, paralleling one another. This word can also be used as an adverb describing an action that is related to or dependent on something else.
Example: The squirrels' weight looks to be according with hibernation season.
Example: The clown's convincing act went according to plan.
Example: We're supposed to have our first snow by the end of November, according to the weatherman.
Accordable: This adjective describes someone or something that is amenable or agreeable in nature or function.
Example: The usually hot-tempered boys were so accordable that their mothers at first could not believe their eyes.
Accorder: This noun refers to one who does the act of settling or harmonizing.
Example: The team elected Johnny as the neutral accorder for future disputes.
From The Economist (July 13th, 2013) Accord, alliance or disunity?
The European accord is along similar lines, except that it is legally binding, whereas the alliance deal is not. "We don't believe that unenforceable commitments are credible," says Scott Nova of the Workers Rights Consortium, an NGO that helped create the accord.
Here accord refers to a specific agreement struck by European countries regarding factory conditions for workers in Bangladesh. The excerpt contrasts the contractual nature of the European accord with a similar "unenforceable" alliance launched by American retail chains.
From J.R.R Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King: (YouTube: 2:09)
Bilbo: Tell me again, lad, where are we going?
Frodo: To the harbour, Bilbo. The Elves have accorded you a special honour. A place on the last ship to leave Middle-earth.
Bilbo: Frodo, any chance of seeing that old ring of mine again? The one I gave you?
Frodo: I'm sorry, Uncle. I'm afraid I lost it.
Bilbo: Oh, pity. I should like to have held it, one last time.
After Frodo's adventures have come to a close, he returns to find an old friend ready to move on. The Elves had given, or accorded, Bilbo the privilege of coming with them to the Undying Lands, which he gratefully accepts.
- Friends are a resounding chord if they're in accord.
- The winner should be accorded a reward!
The phrase of one's own accord is used when someone wants to emphasize that he or she has voluntarily done something (i.e. of their own free will). At first glance, this colloquial usage doesn't sound like it's in accord with the words previous definitions. However, if you think about it, you could have mentally agreed to do a task simply because it was agreeable to you! When you do something of your own accord, you've probably decided within yourself that the job is worthwhile and you've resolved to continue without any outside pressure.
Bring out the linguist in you! What is your own interpretation of accord. Did you use accord in a game? Provide an example sentence or a literary quote.