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Latin cord- from cor (heart) + -ate.



cordate (plural cordates)

  1. (philosophy) Any animal with a heart.
    • 1970, Willard Van Orman Quine, Philosophy of Logic, pages 8–9:
      If, for instance, the context:
      (1) Necessarily all cordates are cordates
      is available in the language, then the desired contrast seems to work out. [] At the same time, as desired, ‘cordate’ remains interchangeable with ‘creature with a heart’, at least in the example (1); for necessarily all cordates, by definition, have hearts.
    • 2002, Timothy McCarthy, Radical Interpretation and Indeterminacy, page 124:
      The organisms in any sample of tigers will almost always happen to exemplify genetic properties more specific than the property shared by exactly the tigers, as well as a number of more inclusive ones such as properties common to all mammals or to all cordates.
    • 2008, Peter Loptson, Freedom, Nature, and World, page 78:
      Sciences of cordates — creatures with hearts — are, for example, less general or comprehensive than sciences of living things, and the latter are less comprehensive and general than sciences of moving things.
    • 2012, K. Mulligan, Language, Truth and Ontology, page 16:
      It is the coextension problem, the problem of the renates and the cordates, the creatures with kidneys and the creatures with hearts.
    • 2021, Ken Akiba, “Vaguenss from the philosophical point of view”, in Apostolos Syropoulos, Basil K. Papadopoulos, editors, Vagueness in the Exact Sciences, page 6:
      However, the property of being a cordate and the property of being a renate are different properties; the former has something to do with hearts and the latter has something to do with kidneys.
  2. (archaeology) A heart-shaped hand axe.
    • 1977, D. K. Bhattacharya, Dibyendu Kanti Bhattacharya, Palaeolithic Europe, page 46:
      The upper loam (E) has been reported to have yielded several white-patinated implements, including a large number of pointed handaxes, cordates, ovates and cleavers.
    • 1985, John Wymer, The Palaeolithic Sites of East Anglia, page 107:
      Of the 58 ovates, cordates and cleavers examined, 21 have a tranchet sharpened edge, and 14 are twisted.
    • 2012, Paul Pettitt, Mark White, The British Palaeolithic, page 122:
      Slightly derived handaxes from the Mildenhall glaciofluvial sands, generally in fresh condition and dominated by ovates and cordates.
  3. Misspelling of chordate.

Usage notes[edit]

The sense "any animal with a heart" is chiefly confined to discussion of an example given by Willard Van Orman Quine in his essay "Two Dogmas of Empiricism". Compare renate.


idealized shape of a cordate leaf

cordate (comparative more cordate, superlative most cordate)

  1. (botany) Heart-shaped, with a point at the apex and a notch at the base.
    Synonym: cordiform

Derived terms[edit]





cordate f

  1. plural of cordata



Etymology 1[edit]


cordātē (not comparable)

  1. prudently, sagaciously, wisely

Etymology 2[edit]



  1. vocative masculine singular of cordātus


  • cordate”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • cordate in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.