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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, page 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, editor, 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