Definition of dissonant in English:

dissonant

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

adjective

Music
  • 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.
    Synonyms
  • 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.
    Synonyms
    incongruous, anomalous, irreconcilable, discrepant, disagreeing, clashing; disparate, different, dissimilar, inconsistent, incompatible, contradictory

Derivatives

dissonantly

adverb
More 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.

Origin

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'.

More definitions of dissonant

Definition of dissonant in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
noun
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody