noun dis·cord \ ˈdis-ˌkȯrd \
Updated on: 12 Apr 2018

Definition of discord

1 a : lack of agreement or harmony (as between persons, things, or ideas)
  • … must we fall into the jabber and babel of discord while victory is still unattained?
  • —Sir Winston Churchill
b : active quarreling or conflict resulting from discord among persons or factions : strife
  • marital discord
  • discord between the two parties
2 a music
(1) : a combination of musical sounds that strikes the ear harshly
(2) : dissonance
  • The song ends on a discord.
b : a harsh or unpleasant sound

Examples of discord in a Sentence

  1. The city has long been known as a scene of racial intolerance and discord.

  2. The song ends on a discord.

Recent Examples of discord from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discord.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of discord

Middle English descorde, discord, from Anglo-French descorde, from Latin discordia, from discord-, discors — see 2discord

Synonym Discussion of discord

discord, strife, conflict, contention, dissension, variance mean a state or condition marked by a lack of agreement or harmony. discord implies an intrinsic or essential lack of harmony producing quarreling, factiousness, or antagonism.
    • a political party long racked by discord
strife emphasizes a struggle for superiority rather than the incongruity or incompatibility of the persons or things involved.
    • during his brief reign the empire was never free of civil strife
conflict usually stresses the action of forces in opposition but in static applications implies an irreconcilability as of duties or desires.
    • the conflict of freedom and responsibility
contention applies to strife or competition that shows itself in quarreling, disputing, or controversy.
    • several points of contention about the new zoning law
dissension implies strife or discord and stresses a division into factions.
    • religious dissension threatened to split the colony
variance implies a clash between persons or things owing to a difference in nature, opinion, or interest.
    • cultural variances that work against a national identity



verb dis·cord \ ˈdis-ˌkȯrd , dis-ˈ \

Definition of discord

Examples of discord in a Sentence

  1. the evangelist's lavish lifestyle discords with his professed religious beliefs

Origin and Etymology of discord

Middle English, from Anglo-French descorder, from Latin discordare, from discord-, discors discordant, from dis- + cord-, cor heart — more at heart

DISCORD Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of discord for English Language Learners

  • : lack of agreement between people, ideas, etc.

  • : an unpleasant combination of musical notes

DISCORD Defined for Kids


noun dis·cord \ ˈdis-ˌkȯrd \

Definition of discord for Students

: lack of agreement or harmony : conflict
  • Money problems caused family discord.

Word Root of discord

The Latin word cor, meaning “heart,” and its form cordis give us the root cord. Words from the Latin cor have something to do with the heart. When there is discord, or disagreement, hearts are apart. When there is accord, or agreement, hearts have moved together. Anything that is cordial, such as a welcome, comes from the heart.

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