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

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 The only discordant note, the only sign of caution, came when Woods had to trudge uphill — and golfers have to do a lot of that at Augusta National. Christine Brennan, USA TODAY, 4 Apr. 2022 But the system in which the character’s live, where loyalty and friendship aren’t honored, doesn’t feel as discordant with our times. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Apr. 2022 Naturally, the scene is shot like a horror film, with dark hues, discordant sounds, and spooky special effects. Mary Hui, Quartz, 13 Apr. 2022 The fitful shelling had reminded me of the discordant sounds inside a symphony hall when orchestra musicians warm up before a concert. Martin Kuz, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Apr. 2022 The Slap have often been discordant and even contradictory. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 8 Apr. 2022 Elsewhere, a Pepto Bismol–pink ice cream truck trawled the eastbound bike lane, emitting a discordant jingle, and passenger vehicles swerved into it, too, employing it as a makeshift passing lane. Alison Van Houten, Outside Online, 5 Apr. 2022 In the midst of this, however, a discordant sound could be heard, as visiting Chelsea fans chimed in with a chant of their own. Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker, 17 Mar. 2022 The series will be told through a backdrop of ’90s grunge and rave culture and weaves between parallel and discordant memories of twin sisters growing up down the hall from one another. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of discordant

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

History and Etymology for discordant

see discord entry 2

Learn More About discordant

Time Traveler for discordant

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near discordant



discordia concors

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Statistics for discordant

Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Discordant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discordant. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for discordant


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 discordant (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on discordant

Nglish: Translation of discordant for Spanish Speakers


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