noun uni·son \ ˈyü-nə-sən , -nə-zən \
Updated on: 28 Feb 2018

Definition of unison

1 a : 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

Examples of unison in a Sentence

  1. the members of the committee are in unison on this point

Recent Examples of unison from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of unison

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




Definition of unison

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

First Known Use of unison


in the meaning defined at sense 1

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UNISON Defined for Kids


noun uni·son \ ˈyü-nə-sən \

Definition of unison for Students

: 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

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