uni·​son | \ ˈyü-nə-sən How to pronounce unison (audio) , -nə-zən \

Definition of unison

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : identity in musical pitch specifically : the interval of a perfect prime
b : the state of being so tuned or sounded
c : the writing, playing, or singing of parts in a musical passage at the same pitch or in octaves
2 : a harmonious agreement or union : concord
in unison
1 : in perfect agreement : so as to harmonize exactly a class reciting in unison
2 : at the same time : simultaneously



Definition of unison (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : identical in musical pitch unison singing a unison passage accompanied by unison strings
2 : producing pitches ordinarily associated with the keys played one of the organ's unison stops

Synonyms & Antonyms for unison

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did you know?

This word usually appears in the phrase "in unison", which means "together, at the same time" or "at the same musical pitch". So an excited crowd responding to a speaker may shout in unison, and a group of demonstrators may chant in unison. The old church music called Gregorian chant was written to be sung in unison, with no harmonizing voices, and kindergarten kids always sing in unison (at least when they can all find the same pitch). In a similar way, an aerobics class moves in unison following the instructor, and a group or even a whole town may work in unison when everyone agrees on a common goal.

Examples of unison in a Sentence

Noun the members of the committee are in unison on this point
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Yet, even as wins have failed to come, players have been in virtual unison that life has become better in the days since several left their final meeting with Andersen in tears. Danny Moran, OregonLive.com, 3 Nov. 2017 As the first quarter comes to a close, Hawkeye fans turn in unison to wave and smile at the patients at the university's children's hospital, reports CBS News correspondent Dana Jacobson. CBS News, 2 Nov. 2017 The translation was, literally, faithful: God himself had moved their hands in unison, only one possible translation for his Word. Wyatt Mason, New York Times, 2 Nov. 2017 Time Detroit Lions owner Martha Ford and her three daughters stood with Lions players for the singing of the national anthem as part of a broad show of unison before Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, 24 Sep. 2017 Fox attacks on his own, crouching, extending his arms and that 6-6 wingspan, moving his feet in unison with his opponent’s. Ailene Voisin, sacbee, 22 Sep. 2017 For five minutes and 55 seconds, 50 independent stewards watched the dancers, making sure everyone moved in unison and kept dancing the entire time. Priscella Vega, Burbank Leader, 22 Sep. 2017 Today, America’s major physician organizations are recommending something, strongly and in unison: The latest health-care bill, known as Graham-Cassidy, would do harm to the country and should be defeated. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, 21 Sep. 2017 Smartphone alerts beeped in unison and television stations suddenly cut to an ominous black screen with bold, white script warning of a possible missile attack. Charlie Campbell / Tokyo, Time, 20 Sep. 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of unison


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


1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for unison


Middle English unisoun, from Middle French unisson, from Medieval Latin unisonus having the same sound, from Latin uni- + sonus sound — more at sound entry 1

Learn More About unison

Time Traveler for unison

Time Traveler

The first known use of unison was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near unison




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for unison

Cite this Entry

“Unison.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unison. Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for unison


uni·​son | \ ˈyü-nə-sən How to pronounce unison (audio) \

Kids Definition of unison

: the state of being tuned or sounded at the same pitch or at an octave
in unison
1 : in exact agreement They are in unison as to what to do next.
2 : at the same time … they all stuck their tongues out in unison— Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy

More from Merriam-Webster on unison

Nglish: Translation of unison for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unison for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about unison


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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