dis·​cord | \ ˈdi-ˌskȯrd How to pronounce discord (audio) \

Definition of discord

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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
b : active quarreling or conflict resulting from discord among persons or factions : strife marital discord discord between the two parties
2a music
(1) : a combination of musical sounds that strikes the ear harshly
(2) : dissonance The song ends on a discord.
b : a harsh or unpleasant sound


dis·​cord | \ ˈdi-ˌskȯrd How to pronounce discord (audio) , di-ˈskȯrd \
discorded; discording; discords

Definition of discord (Entry 2 of 2)

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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

Examples of discord in a Sentence

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Now a large number of CDOs have gone from the IT basement to reporting to the CEO, but there’s a certain discord between business and IT that is often challenging to bridge. Kaycee Lai, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 In 17th century Flanders and Holland, there was similar discord over the effects of smoking. Washington Post, 8 Sep. 2021 In contrast, negotiations at universities and other private employers have already started, with much less public discord. BostonGlobe.com, 23 Aug. 2021 Usually this discord can be ignored, because quantum mechanics describes the very small while general relativity describes large, massive objects. Quanta Magazine, 18 Aug. 2021 The Department also warned of nation-state adversaries attempting to sow politcal discord, citing examples of Russia, China and Iran attempting to cast doubt on vaccine efficacy. Luke Barr, ABC News, 14 Aug. 2021 Give-and-take is required now, and inequality in that regard can cause discord. Tarot Astrologers, chicagotribune.com, 7 Aug. 2021 Restorative justice is a framework of dealing with incidents that cause harm by seeking to repair relationships and end discord, in a way that can lead to healing. Louisville Courier Journal, 2 Aug. 2021 Since the early 1990s, Bobby Rush, who co-founded the Illinois chapter of the BPP, has represented the South Side of Chicago in Congress as a reliable progressive, if one who avoids discord with Democratic leaders. Michael Kazin, The New Republic, 30 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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

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.

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First Known Use of discord


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


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for discord


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

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Time Traveler for discord

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

12 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Discord.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discord. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for discord



English Language Learners Definition of discord

: lack of agreement between people, ideas, etc.
: an unpleasant combination of musical notes


dis·​cord | \ ˈdis-ˌkȯrd How to pronounce discord (audio) \

Kids Definition of discord

: lack of agreement or harmony : conflict Money problems caused family discord.

More from Merriam-Webster on discord

Nglish: Translation of discord for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of discord for Arabic Speakers


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