dis·​cord | \ ˈdi-ˌskȯrd How to pronounce discord (audio) \

Essential Meaning of discord

1 : lack of agreement between people, ideas, etc. marital discord [=conflict] discord between political parties The city has long been known as a scene of racial intolerance and discord.
2 : an unpleasant combination of musical notes The song ends on a discord. musical discord

Full Definition of discord

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : lack of agreement or harmony (as between persons, things, or ideas) … must we fall into the jabber and babel of discord while victory is still unattained?— Sir Winston Churchill
b : active quarreling or conflict resulting from discord among persons or factions : strife marital discord discord between the two parties
2a music
(1) : a combination of musical sounds that strikes the ear harshly
(2) : dissonance The song ends on a discord.
b : a harsh or unpleasant sound


dis·​cord | \ ˈdi-ˌskȯrd How to pronounce discord (audio) , di-ˈskȯrd \
discorded; discording; discords

Definition of discord (Entry 2 of 2)

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for discord


discord, strife, conflict, contention, dissension, variance mean a state or condition marked by a lack of agreement or harmony. discord implies an intrinsic or essential lack of harmony producing quarreling, factiousness, or antagonism. a political party long racked by discord strife emphasizes a struggle for superiority rather than the incongruity or incompatibility of the persons or things involved. during his brief reign the empire was never free of civil strife conflict usually stresses the action of forces in opposition but in static applications implies an irreconcilability as of duties or desires. the conflict of freedom and responsibility contention applies to strife or competition that shows itself in quarreling, disputing, or controversy. several points of contention about the new zoning law dissension implies strife or discord and stresses a division into factions. religious dissension threatened to split the colony variance implies a clash between persons or things owing to a difference in nature, opinion, or interest. cultural variances that work against a national identity

Examples of discord in a Sentence

Noun The city has long been known as a scene of racial intolerance and discord. The song ends on a discord. Verb the evangelist's lavish lifestyle discords with his professed religious beliefs
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After holding out against unification demands from China’s communist rulers for more than 70 years, Taiwan is now at the heart of the deepening discord between China and the United States. New York Times, 9 Oct. 2021 Not anyone familiar with the petty discord that long prevented local, county and state governments from working in accord on just about anything. Roy S. Johnson | Rjohnson@al.com, al, 3 Oct. 2021 That’s the movie that ends the first Captain America trilogy, setting up the discord between two Avengers factions just before Infinity War and Endgame. Chris Smith, BGR, 20 Sep. 2021 And the discord isn’t confined to the airwaves and the Internet. Rodger Dean Duncan, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 The discord is documented in a series of reports obtained by the Courant in which the Hartford police chief and the Hartford program manager lay blame on each other for some of the initiative’s shortcomings over the past 18 months. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, 20 Aug. 2021 While the work ahead is difficult, there’s the promise with the reopening that the worst of the pandemic discord is in the past. Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Aug. 2021 The discord, though, started the day Newton took office. Washington Post, 22 July 2021 The chaos and political recriminations sparked by cyberattacks are paralleled by the internal discord sown by what US spy agencies say is Russia's disinformation and propaganda warfare during the last two US election campaigns -- on behalf of Trump. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 7 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb If frustrated by his or her lack of success, the friendly play could lead to discord with kids. Cathy M. Rosenthal, San Antonio Express-News, 6 May 2021 The losses haven't led to discord but simply frustration. Dana Gauruder, Detroit Free Press, 24 Feb. 2020 Brad Stevens is a superb coach, and there was a crucial addition in Kemba Wallker, a deadly shooter who fosters harmony, not discord, among his teammates. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, 7 Dec. 2019 Trump said Iran cannot be trusted to stick to the accord, and that the agreement fails to address Iran's missile program or its contribution to discord in the Middle East. Hannah Wiley, USA TODAY, 2 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of discord


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for discord


Middle English descorde, discord, from Anglo-French descorde, from Latin discordia, from discord-, discors — see discord entry 2


Middle English, from Anglo-French descorder, from Latin discordare, from discord-, discors discordant, from dis- + cord-, cor heart — more at heart

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About discord

Time Traveler for discord

Time Traveler

The first known use of discord was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near discord




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for discord

Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Discord.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discord. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for discord


dis·​cord | \ ˈdis-ˌkȯrd How to pronounce discord (audio) \

Kids Definition of discord

: lack of agreement or harmony : conflict Money problems caused family discord.

More from Merriam-Webster on discord

Nglish: Translation of discord for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of discord for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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