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 But 2½ years later after Frantz, a Republican, sang the watchdogs’ praises, the Democratic Lamont administration is singing a different and discordant tune. Jon Lender, courant.com, "Jon Lender: Watchdog agency that’s saved taxpayers $86M is now accused of lacking ‘expertise’ as Lamont administration seeks to restrain it," 27 Mar. 2021 One discordant element of the styling is the large, black plastic liners that ring around the wheel openings. John Pearley Huffman, Car and Driver, "2022 Infiniti QX55 Takes Shape," 23 Mar. 2021 But some elements seem discordant in the Pur Sport. John Pearley Huffman, Car and Driver, "2021 Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport Goes to Extremes," 5 Mar. 2021 The unusual sound, however, is easily recognizable as a recitation of the age-old prayer, and many have found equal comfort in this discordant rendition. Asaf Shalev, sun-sentinel.com, "Jews in mourning finding unexpected comfort in virtual minyans," 3 Mar. 2021 The deafening song of cicadas or the discordant croaking of frogs. New York Times, "French Roosters Now Crow With the Law Behind Them," 24 Jan. 2021 Rarely has there been a single hour on a single day that saw such discordant messages emanating from Washington in a time of national crisis. New York Times, "Two Presidents, Two Messages, One Killer Virus," 8 Dec. 2020 But once that vote is complete, Pelosi will have to wrangle the discordant portions of her caucus, which faces a burgeoning intraparty battle between moderates and progressives over how best to govern. Sarah D. Wire, Los Angeles Times, "Slim majorities in the new Congress will make big legislation difficult," 3 Jan. 2021 But there were also discordant notes from those who felt that the conference was caving to economic and political pressure. New York Times, "Was the College Football Season Worth It?," 30 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for discordant

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for discordant

Last Updated

1 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Discordant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discordant. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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 discordant (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on discordant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for discordant

Nglish: Translation of discordant for Spanish Speakers

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