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dis·​cord ˈdi-ˌskȯrd How to pronounce discord (audio)
: lack of agreement or harmony (as between persons, things, or ideas)
… must we fall into the jabber and babel of discord while victory is still unattained? Sir Winston Churchill
: active quarreling or conflict resulting from discord among persons or factions : strife
marital discord
discord between the two parties
a music
: a combination of musical sounds that strikes the ear harshly
: dissonance
The song ends on a discord.
: a harsh or unpleasant sound


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dis·​cord ˈdi-ˌskȯrd How to pronounce discord (audio)
discorded; discording; discords
Choose the Right Synonym for discord

discord, strife, conflict, contention, dissension, variance mean a state or condition marked by a lack of agreement or harmony.

discord implies an intrinsic or essential lack of harmony producing quarreling, factiousness, or antagonism.

a political party long racked by discord

strife emphasizes a struggle for superiority rather than the incongruity or incompatibility of the persons or things involved.

during his brief reign the empire was never free of civil strife

conflict usually stresses the action of forces in opposition but in static applications implies an irreconcilability as of duties or desires.

the conflict of freedom and responsibility

contention applies to strife or competition that shows itself in quarreling, disputing, or controversy.

several points of contention about the new zoning law

dissension implies strife or discord and stresses a division into factions.

religious dissension threatened to split the colony

variance implies a clash between persons or things owing to a difference in nature, opinion, or interest.

cultural variances that work against a national identity

Example Sentences

Noun The city has long been known as a scene of racial intolerance and discord. The song ends on a discord. Verb the evangelist's lavish lifestyle discords with his professed religious beliefs
Recent Examples on the Web
The conflict has thwarted broader international cooperation, prompting several multilateral meetings this year to end in discord. Bloomberg News, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Nov. 2022 The conflict has thwarted broader international cooperation, prompting several multilateral meetings this year to end in discord. Fortune, 13 Nov. 2022 With crime on the rise and criminal justice rife with discord this year, Californians recalled a district attorney in San Francisco and threatened to recall another in Los Angeles. San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Sep. 2022 Today, though, many are just reality stars, their family discord endlessly dissected, with no political role. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, 16 Sep. 2022 With Slatkin’s guidance, Angelique and Christopher began exploring past experiences that might have influenced their domestic discord. Esme Benjamin, ELLE, 14 July 2022 Some Asian Americans have criticized the cases, saying Blum is simply using them in a thinly veiled attempt to upend affirmative action and sow racial discord. Char Adams, NBC News, 11 Nov. 2022 The New York Times on Sunday reported Twitter will delay changes to the check marks until after Tuesday’s midterm elections, after users and employees raised concerns that the plan could be misused to sow discord. Kurt Wagner, Fortune, 6 Nov. 2022 Prigozhin, a dozen other Russian nationals, and three Russian companies were charged with operating a covert social media campaign aimed at fomenting discord and dividing American public opinion ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Pilar Arias, Fox News, 7 Nov. 2022
Despite the efforts of the people who trumped up the phony c RT issue last year to so discord among parents. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 11 Oct. 2022 Buckel’s situation has led to discord within the Republican caucus. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, 21 Dec. 2021 If frustrated by his or her lack of success, the friendly play could lead to discord with kids. Cathy M. Rosenthal, San Antonio Express-News, 6 May 2021 The losses haven't led to discord but simply frustration. Dana Gauruder, Detroit Free Press, 24 Feb. 2020 Brad Stevens is a superb coach, and there was a crucial addition in Kemba Wallker, a deadly shooter who fosters harmony, not discord, among his teammates. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, 7 Dec. 2019 Trump said Iran cannot be trusted to stick to the accord, and that the agreement fails to address Iran's missile program or its contribution to discord in the Middle East. Hannah Wiley, USA TODAY, 2 May 2018 See More

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

Word History



Middle English descorde, discord, from Anglo-French descorde, from Latin discordia, from discord-, discors — see discord entry 2


Middle English, from Anglo-French descorder, from Latin discordare, from discord-, discors discordant, from dis- + cord-, cor heart — more at heart

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of discord was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near discord

Cite this Entry

“Discord.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discord. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



: lack of agreement or harmony : conflict
discord between political parties
: a harsh combination of musical sounds
: a harsh or unpleasant sound

More from Merriam-Webster on discord

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