from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Lack of agreement among persons, groups, or things.
  • n. Tension or strife resulting from a lack of agreement; dissension.
  • n. A confused or harsh sound or mingling of sounds.
  • n. Music An inharmonious combination of simultaneously sounded tones; a dissonance.
  • intransitive v. To fail to agree or harmonize; clash.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Lack of concord, agreement or harmony among persons, groups, or things.
  • n. Tension or strife resulting from a lack of agreement; dissension.
  • n. An inharmonious combination of simultaneously sounded tones; a dissonance.
  • n. Any harsh noise, or confused mingling of sounds.
  • v. To disagree; to be at variance; to fail to agree or harmonize; clash.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Want of concord or agreement; absence of unity or harmony in sentiment or action; variance leading to contention and strife; disagreement; -- applied to persons or to things, and to thoughts, feelings, or purposes.
  • n. Union of musical sounds which strikes the ear harshly or disagreeably, owing to the incommensurability of the vibrations which they produce; want of musical concord or harmony; a chord demanding resolution into a concord.
  • intransitive v. To disagree; to be discordant; to jar; to clash; not to suit.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To disagree; jar; clash.
  • To be discordant or dissonant.
  • n. Want of concord or harmony between persons or things; disagreement of relations; especially, as applied to persons, difference of opinions; variance; opposition; contention; strife; any disagreement which produces passion, contest, disputes, litigation, or war.
  • n. In music: The combination of two tones that are inharmonious with each other, or inconclusive in combined effect; a dissonance.
  • n. The interval between two such tones; any interval not a unison, octave, perfect fifth, perfect fourth, major or minor third, or major or minor sixth. In medieval music all but the first three of the above intervals were at first regarded as discords.
  • n. Either of the two tones forming such an interval.
  • n. A chord containing such intervals.See dissonance.
  • n. Hence—3. Any confused noise; a mingling or clashing of sounds; a harsh clang or uproar.
  • n.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. be different from one another
  • n. a harsh mixture of sounds
  • n. strife resulting from a lack of agreement
  • n. lack of agreement or harmony
  • n. disagreement among those expected to cooperate


Middle English, from Old French descorde, from Latin discordia, from discors, discord-, disagreeing : dis-, apart; see dis- + cor, cord-, heart.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Circa 1230, Middle English descorde, discorde; from Anglo-Norman, Old French descort (derivative of descorder), descorde ("disagreement"); from Latin discordia, from discord-, discors ("disagreeing, disagreement"), from dis- ("apart") + cor, cordis, cord-, cors ("heart") (Wiktionary)


  • Meiring on Monday said his decision to retire was prompted by what he labelled discord and distrust sparked by the leakage of the report.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Meiring said his request was prompted by what he labelled discord and distrust sparked by the leakage of a Military

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Let us consider her as a whole, who can only maintain herself by what we call the discord of the elements; that she exists by the continual dissolution and re-union of her parts; that from this springs the universal harmony; that from this the general stability has its birth.

    The System of Nature, Volume 2

  • Balance becomes discord (disharmoneous imbalance) through the process of disruption; that discord is simply the effect of some event upon the world.

    More on Narrative

  • I agree that there are huge problems with the UN Security Council, and I also agree that much of these problems are rooted in discord between China/Russia and the other permanent Security Council members.

    Matthew Yglesias » The McCain League

  • Not being fully involved in this part of the middle east discord, is caused by being overwhelmed by the Iraq morass.

    Think Progress » Gingrich: ‘This Is, In Fact, World War III’ And The U.S. ‘Ought To Be Helping’

  • Her definition of Sociopath appears to be anyone who acts in discord with accepted societal standard

    Reader reviews of The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout.

  • Were it not so we would be the only Utopia on the globe -- a mythical Earthly Paradise, or a buried sea-city of Atlantis whose only discord is the music of its silver bells.

    The Conquest of National Fear

  • But the strength I had to act in discord with it, and thrust my joy from me, and I went to planning how I could best turn the child's fancy from myself to some one who would be for her best good.

    The Heart's Highway: A Romance of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century

  • The following specimen of mixed metaphor is, according to the Reader, taken from an American journal: -- "The apple of discord is now fairly in our midst, and, if not nipped in the bud, it will burst forth in a conflagration which will deluge the sea of politics with an earthquake of heresies."

    The Following Specimen


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  • Interesting. I'm a musician and I have never made that association before. There's certainly no etymological relationship. I checked online for references to "dischordant" and apparently there is an instrumental called "DHA (Dischordant Harmonic Abuse)," clearly a play on the implied relationship.

    October 22, 2007

  • While applicable to music, it appears to have no etymological relationship to chord.

    October 22, 2007