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 For William Mitchell, a senior sales director in Atlanta, the measure of James the man counts as much as the athlete, particularly in a time of social discord. NBC News, "How LeBron James has become a leading voice for social justice in a racially divided nation," 23 June 2020 Secondary Infektion, as the group is known, has for years been trying to disrupt elections, sow discord among European nations, and spread nationalist Russian propaganda using thousands of temporary social media accounts. Wired Staff, Wired, "eBay and the Deliveries You Never Wanted," 20 June 2020 While foreign influencers like Russia were found to have engaged in misinformation-peddling to sow discord ahead of the 2016 election, this latest batch of misinformation seems to be homegrown, according to the researchers. Brian Fung, CNN, "Some Facebook groups created to protest lockdowns are now hotbeds for misinformation," 20 June 2020 The rebuke came after China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, held an unusual meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Hawaii that underscored the depth of discord between the two countries. Steven Lee Myers, BostonGlobe.com, "China lashes out at the United States over Xinjiang sanctions law," 18 June 2020 The discord between the Japanese and French partners ultimately thwarted Renault’s 2019 bid for greater scale by combining with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, and stymied cooperation over strategy and new models. Reed Stevenson, Bloomberg.com, "Nissan Email Trail Casts New Light on Carlos Ghosn Takedown," 15 June 2020 In other families, anything that’s not a strictly equal distribution will cause discord. cleveland, "Should you leave your children an equal inheritance?," 13 June 2020 Doing this sows discord, by creating a sense of doubt among the public about the organic aspect of the protests. refinery29.com, "The Myth Of “Outside Agitators” Is Everywhere — And Ignores This Important Fact," 10 June 2020 After years of Donald Trump's divisiveness and discord, America is coming together. TheWeek, "New Lincoln Project ad ruthlessly takes aim at yet another Trump soft spot: Crowd sizes," 9 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The losses haven't led to discord but simply frustration. Dana Gauruder, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings' fog of uncertainty thickens as NHL trade deadline arrives, losses mount," 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, "NBA power rankings: It’s an L.A. story," 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, "Iran nuclear deal: What's next for the controversial accord?," 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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Statistics for discord

Last Updated

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Discord.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discord. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for discord


How to pronounce discord (audio)

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on discord

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for discord

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with discord

Spanish Central: Translation of discord

Nglish: Translation of discord for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of discord for Arabic Speakers

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