dissonance

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noun dis·so·nance \ˈdi-sə-nən(t)s\

Definition of dissonance

  1. 1a :  lack of agreement the dissonance between the truth and what people want to believe; especially :  inconsistency between the beliefs one holds or between one's actions and one's beliefs — compare cognitive dissonanceb :  an instance of such inconsistency or disagreement the mingling of bitter comedy and stark tragedy produces sharp dissonances — F. B. Millett

  2. 2 :  a mingling of sounds that strike the ear harshly :  a mingling of discordant sounds; especially, music :  a clashing or unresolved musical interval or chord

Examples of dissonance in a Sentence

  1. the dissonance between what we are told and what we see with our own eyes

Recent Examples of dissonance from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of dissonance

see dissonant


First Known Use: 15th century


DISSONANCE Defined for Kids

dissonance

play
noun dis·so·nance \ˈdi-sə-nəns\

Definition of dissonance for Students

  1. :  an unpleasant combination of musical sounds


Medical Dictionary

dissonance

play
noun dis·so·nance \ˈdis-ə-nən(t)s\

Medical Definition of dissonance

  1. :  inconsistency between the beliefs one holds or between one's actions and one's beliefs—see cognitive dissonance



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