dissonance

noun

dis·​so·​nance ˈdi-sə-nən(t)s How to pronounce dissonance (audio)
1
a
: 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 dissonance
b
: an instance of such inconsistency or disagreement
the mingling of bitter comedy and stark tragedy produces sharp dissonancesF. B. Millett
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

the dissonance between what we are told and what we see with our own eyes
Recent Examples on the Web Resolutely experimental and countercultural, and characterized by clamorous guitars in unconventional tunings, squalls of dissonance tempered by an edgy melodic appeal and lyrics that ranged from snide to declamatory, and sordid to poetic, Sonic Youth sounded like nothing else, then and now. Andres Viglucci, Miami Herald, 9 June 2024 There’s an appealing dissonance between the look of the stubby pony and the performer’s potent pipes, which seem better suited for soulful rock tunes than vapid pop. Carlos Aguilar, Variety, 17 May 2024 And from that slight dissonance between the two, some of the most memorable images result. Carlos Aguilar, Variety, 3 May 2024 The warm synth-pop of Midnights serves as the closest reference point, but that album was cleanly orchestrated, while The Tortured Poets Department wants to get in the mud with soft-loud dissonance and tracklist sprawl. Jason Lipshutz, Billboard, 19 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for dissonance 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dissonance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

see dissonant

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of dissonance was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near dissonance

Cite this Entry

“Dissonance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissonance. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

dissonance

noun
dis·​so·​nance ˈdis-ə-nən(t)s How to pronounce dissonance (audio)
: an unpleasant combination of musical sounds

Medical Definition

dissonance

noun
dis·​so·​nance ˈdis-ə-nən(t)s How to pronounce dissonance (audio)
: inconsistency between the beliefs one holds or between one's actions and one's beliefs see cognitive dissonance

More from Merriam-Webster on dissonance

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