dis·​cord | \ ˈdi-ˌskȯrd How to pronounce discord (audio) \

Definition of discord

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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
2a 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


dis·​cord | \ ˈdi-ˌskȯrd How to pronounce discord (audio) , di-ˈskȯrd \
discorded; discording; discords

Definition of discord (Entry 2 of 2)

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of discord in a Sentence

Noun The city has long been known as a scene of racial intolerance and discord. The song ends on a discord. Verb the evangelist's lavish lifestyle discords with his professed religious beliefs
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There's a reason government leaders travel to meet face-to-face with allies and these meetings are so important in times of discord. Mark Sutherland, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2022 Russia's defense ministry denies the reports of discord, and has accused the West of lying about the invasion of Ukraine. Catherine Garcia, The Week, 30 Mar. 2022 An early sign of discord comes as Safaricom and Ethio Telecom have failed to agree on an infrastructure sharing agreement for telcoms towers. Tom Collins, Quartz, 8 Feb. 2022 But Beijing 2022 sits at a whole other level of discord. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, 3 Feb. 2022 In another sign of discord, French President Emmanuel Macron called for a European Union channel to Moscow. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 28 Jan. 2022 There was a lot of disagreement, a lot of discord, about what this finished album should be. Gary Graff, cleveland, 24 Nov. 2021 One year ago, with the globe reeling from a pandemic, the United States and China not only failed to cooperate to combat the crisis but also unleashed a level of discord not seen for half a century, at one point triggering fears of war. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 Nov. 2021 The disagreements prime Democratic lawmakers for a tense gathering Monday evening, even though Pelosi in recent days has sought to downplay any notion of discord within her caucus. BostonGlobe.com, 27 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Buckel’s situation has led to discord within the Republican caucus. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, 21 Dec. 2021 If frustrated by his or her lack of success, the friendly play could lead to discord with kids. Cathy M. Rosenthal, San Antonio Express-News, 6 May 2021 The losses haven't led to discord but simply frustration. Dana Gauruder, Detroit Free Press, 24 Feb. 2020 Brad Stevens is a superb coach, and there was a crucial addition in Kemba Wallker, a deadly shooter who fosters harmony, not discord, among his teammates. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, 7 Dec. 2019 Trump said Iran cannot be trusted to stick to the accord, and that the agreement fails to address Iran's missile program or its contribution to discord in the Middle East. Hannah Wiley, USA TODAY, 2 May 2018 See More

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.

First Known Use of discord


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for discord


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


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

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The first known use of discord was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Discord.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discord. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for discord


dis·​cord | \ ˈdis-ˌkȯrd How to pronounce discord (audio) \

Kids Definition of discord

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

More from Merriam-Webster on discord

Nglish: Translation of discord for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of discord for Arabic Speakers


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