dis·cor·dant | \-dᵊnt \

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

Trump's hyperbolic praise for a summit that was evidently discordant shows his refusal to allow any venture in which he is involved to be portrayed as anything other than a roaring success. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "The West is in crisis, despite Trump's glowing assessment," 9 June 2018 This year, López Obrador has reached out to Mexico’s private sector and former members of the PRI, forming a campaign team that includes a range of advisers with seemingly discordant views. Kevin Sieff, Washington Post, "A man who goes by AMLO is the favorite to win Mexico’s presidential election," 29 June 2018 His most immediate first impression of the thing that has become his legacy can seem discordant. Connie Wang, refinery29.com, "The Pain & Privilege Of Traveling With Anthony Bourdain," 8 June 2018 The song is stark, layered, discordant, stuttering rhythmically. Walton Muyumba, latimes.com, "Detachment and dreaming in 'My Year of Rest and Relaxation' by Ottessa Moshfegh," 12 July 2018 This is a beautiful and discordant, sweet and angry piece of music, out of body and out of time. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The unexpected resonance of Zooropa, U2’s least-remembered album, 25 years later," 5 July 2018 Here’s a discordant note: Why is Eden’s little sister dressed in gray, when the female children in Gilead typically wear pink? Rena Gross, Billboard, "'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2, Episode 12 Recap: 15 Reactions to 'Postpartum'," 4 July 2018 But discordant notes are being struck after the chorus’s new conductor, James Burton, has unceremoniously decimated its ranks, forcing out a large swath of singers, including many of the group’s most senior members. Malcolm Gay, BostonGlobe.com, "Harsh notes amid purge of BSO’s chorus," 27 June 2018 Fox News streamed the event, and on YouTube the comments that coursed down the right of the video expressed what might be called discordant support. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, "ChurchToo and Mike Pence’s Crisis of Faith," 21 June 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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Last Updated

30 Sep 2018

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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 \

Kids Definition of discordant

: being in disagreement discordant opinions


dis·cor·dant | \dis-ˈkȯrd-ᵊnt \

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 \ 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

What made you want to look up discordant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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