dissonant

play
adjective dis·so·nant \-nənt\

Definition of dissonant

  1. 1 :  marked by dissonance :  discordant

  2. 2 :  incongruous

  3. 3 :  harmonically unresolved

dissonantly

adverb

dissonant was our Word of the Day on 09/16/2007. Hear the podcast!

Examples of dissonant in a Sentence

  1. a dissonant chorus of noises arose from the busy construction site

Recent Examples of dissonant from the Web

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

Did You Know?

The root of "dissonant" is the Latin verb sonare. Can you guess what "sonare" means? Here's a hint: some related derivatives are "sonata," "supersonic," and "resonance." Does it sound to you as if "sonare" has something to do with sound? If so, you're right. In fact, sonare means "to sound, is related to the Latin noun sonus (meaning "sound"), and is an ancestor of the English word sound. "Dissonant" includes the negative prefix dis-. What is "dissonant," therefore, sounds inharmonic, conflicting, or clashing.

Origin and Etymology of dissonant

Middle English dissonaunte, from Latin dissonant-, dissonans, present participle of dissonare to be discordant, from dis- + sonare to sound — more at sound


DISSONANT Defined for English Language Learners

dissonant

play
adjective

Definition of dissonant for English Language Learners

  • : not in agreement with something

  • music : not in harmony


Learn More about dissonant


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up dissonant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to counsel, recommend, or inform

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Emoji Quiz

  • emoji-the-quiz
  • What phase of the moon is this: 🌖 ?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!