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