dis·​cor·​dant | \ di-ˈskȯr-dᵊnt How to pronounce discordant (audio) \

Definition of discordant

1a : being at variance : disagreeing discordant opinions
b : quarrelsome a discordant family
2 music : relating to a discord (see discord entry 1 sense 2) a discordant tone

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Other Words from discordant

discordantly adverb

Did You Know?

Discord, a word more common in earlier centuries than today, means basically "conflict", so discordant often means "conflicting". The opinions of Supreme Court justices are frequently discordant; justices who disagree with the Court's decision usually write a dissenting opinion. Discordant is often used with a somewhat musical meaning, suggesting that a single wrong note or harmony has been heard in the middle of a performance—even though musical words such as chord actually come from a different Latin word, meaning "cord" or "string" (a reference to the strings of ancient instruments such as the lyre).

Examples of discordant in a Sentence

She has the difficult task of bringing together a number of discordant elements. discordant tones coming from the poorly tuned instrument

Recent Examples on the Web

In the eighties and nineties, young and discordant indie-rock bands were equally shaped by the Stooges’ music. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "The Survival of Iggy Pop," 26 Aug. 2019 The Department’s discordant and often-abrasive actions leave one with little alternative but to presume that their Civil Rights division would, if made king, close every last public psychiatric hospital in this country. John Hirschauer, National Review, "Yes, the U.S. Has a Mental-Health Problem," 6 Aug. 2019 In Graham Costello’s collective, Strata, anything goes—from discordant bashes of the keys to muted strings. G.k. | Glasgow And Edinburgh, The Economist, "A young Scottish pianist marries folk with jazz," 9 Aug. 2019 At times, the images appeared discordant with the aims of a U.S. government delegation representing the nation's geostrategic interests. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump family members promote themselves, and businesses, on European trip," 7 June 2019 What has resulted is something much more jagged and discordant than what came before. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "Big Little Lies Forgot the Thing That Made It Great," 16 July 2019 His message also is discordant with those coming from Mr. Trump, who has cast the midterms as a test of his first two years in office. Reid J. Epstein, WSJ, "Behind a GOP Congressman’s Odd Re-Election Strategy," 11 Oct. 2018 The problem is that reality—that same reality Canals spoke about—keeps intruding anyway, and the clash between the show’s ebullient tone and its bleaker scenes can sometimes be a discordant one. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Pose Lets In the Light," 12 June 2019 His message also is discordant with those coming from Mr. Trump, who has cast the midterms as a test of his first two years in office. Reid J. Epstein, WSJ, "Behind a GOP Congressman’s Odd Re-Election Strategy," 11 Oct. 2018

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

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First Known Use of discordant

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for discordant

see discord entry 2

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Statistics for discordant

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for discordant

The first known use of discordant was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for discordant



English Language Learners Definition of discordant

: harsh or unpleasant in sound
: not agreeing : not in harmony


dis·​cor·​dant | \ dis-ˈkȯr-dᵊnt How to pronounce discordant (audio) \

Kids Definition of discordant

: being in disagreement discordant opinions


dis·​cor·​dant | \ dis-ˈkȯrd-ᵊnt How to pronounce discordant (audio) \

Medical Definition of discordant

of twins
: dissimilar with respect to one or more particular characters — compare concordant

Other Words from discordant

discordance \ -​ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce discordance (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on discordant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for discordant

Spanish Central: Translation of discordant

Nglish: Translation of discordant for Spanish Speakers

Comments on discordant

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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