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dissonant Line breaks: dis|son¦ant
Pronunciation: /ˈdɪs(ə)nənt/

Definition of dissonant in English:


1Lacking harmony: irregular, dissonant chords
More example sentences
  • The Violin Concerto starts off, for instance, with dissonant sustained chords auguring a foray into some atonal world of austerity and gray shadings.
  • It may be to this very fact that a certain unwritten ‘law’ is owed: this law prefers that melodic notes dissonant to the prevailing harmony should be resolved by step.
  • The dissonant chords melt into nothingness giving the impression of not wanting to fight anymore, a cruel world left to savage itself away.
1.1Unsuitable or unusual in combination; clashing: Jackson employs both harmonious and dissonant colour choices
More example sentences
  • The lack of volume can be particularly dissonant when bus conversations clash with your music during the daily commute.
  • Whatever the origins of the malaise, this dissonant combination of urban potential, challenges and inadequate responses can only lead to more frustration and cynicism among citizens.
  • If her slightly warped geometry and dissonant, high-keyed colors sometimes suggest the cartoon world of Elizabeth Murray, Cecily Kahn is more deeply rooted in the tradition of abstraction.
disparate, different, dissimilar, inconsistent, incompatible, contradictory


Late Middle English (in the sense 'clashing'): from Old French, or from Latin dissonant- 'being discordant', from the verb dissonare, from dis- 'apart' + sonare 'to sound'.



Example sentences
  • Yet the music was darkly, dissonantly underground.
  • The melodic line begins dissonantly, but softly.
  • The faint light of a full moon lit my way dissonantly.

Words that rhyme with dissonant

consonant • alternant

Definition of dissonant in:

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