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dis·​cord ˈdi-ˌskȯrd How to pronounce discord (audio)
: 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
: active quarreling or conflict resulting from discord among persons or factions : strife
marital discord
discord between the two parties
a music
: a combination of musical sounds that strikes the ear harshly
: dissonance
The song ends on a discord.
: a harsh or unpleasant sound


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dis·​cord ˈdi-ˌskȯrd How to pronounce discord (audio)
discorded; discording; discords
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
Mulligan and Cooper are both incredible in these scenes of bubbling marital discord, gently sniping at each other and retreating, the overwhelming love between them, painfully, still very much visible. Radhika Seth, Vogue, 4 Sep. 2023 Camden’s failure to win court approval to exit bankruptcy after nearly three years highlights the growing discord among... Soma Biswas, WSJ, 30 Aug. 2023 Online propaganda campaigns have struggled to replicate the success of early influence efforts, such as Russia’s efforts to sow discord ahead of the 2016 election. Kevin Collier, NBC News, 29 Aug. 2023 Americans’ rising distrust in key democratic institutions such as elections, the judiciary, law enforcement, and the military means that malign actors do not have to create discord in the United States. Richard Fontaine, Foreign Affairs, 7 Aug. 2023 But Hollywood labor discord has historically been handled in-house, with little influence or assistance from Los Angeles City Hall. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, 28 July 2023 The discord has put President Biden in a tough spot, forcing him to attempt to balance his commitment to the labor movement with his push to get automakers to manufacture more electric vehicles. Jeanne Whalen, Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2023 Here was a grass-roots movement that was demanding not egalitarianism, but nativism; not solidarity, but discord. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, 30 Aug. 2023 These problems are enormous, and their solutions will require political engagement — with all the complexity and discord that this entails today. Alejandro Monteverde and Rod Barr, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Aug. 2023
Cash grants are available to support development, alongside access to discord development teams, cloud compute credits, and even early access to Discord platform features. Tom Warren, The Verge, 9 Mar. 2023 Despite the efforts of the people who trumped up the phony c RT issue last year to so discord among parents. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 11 Oct. 2022 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'discord.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


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


14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near discord

Cite this Entry

“Discord.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discord. Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: lack of agreement or harmony : conflict
discord between political parties
: a harsh combination of musical sounds
: a harsh or unpleasant sound

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