Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Harsh and inharmonious in sound; discordant.
  • adjective Being at variance; disagreeing.
  • adjective Music Constituting or producing a dissonance.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Discordant in sound; harsh; jarring; inharmonious; unpleasant to the ear: as, dissonant tones or intervals.
  • Discordant in general; disagreeing; incongruous.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Sounding harshly; discordant; unharmonious.
  • adjective Disagreeing; incongruous; discrepant, -- with from or to.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to dissonance.

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

  • adjective not in accord
  • adjective lacking in harmony
  • adjective characterized by musical dissonance; harmonically unresolved

Etymologies

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

[Middle English dissonaunt, from Old French dissonant, from Latin dissonāns, dissonant-, present participle of dissonāre, to be dissonant : dis-, apart; see dis– + sonāre, to sound; see swen- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

  • Not doing well results in dissonant silence or an intentionally dissonant interruption.

    Music Sweet Music

  • This is a fairly transparent way of rejecting experimental music -- just as many others reject experimental fiction or poetry because it's also "dissonant" -- and Pitt does a good job of diagnosing its flaws.

    Music

  • Thus, any music that doesn't manifest a recognizable emotion (by implication at least, all of "dissonant" modernist music) couldn't be music.

    Music

  • Pelham made demands to use a kind of dissonant but yet confluent music that I wanted to write in my ear by itself but not lead me to it, so by employing those techniques, the problem got solved and I'm very proud of it.

    Cinematical

  • Pelham made demands to use a kind of dissonant but yet confluent music that I wanted to write in my ear by itself but not lead me to it, so by employing those techniques, the problem got solved and I'm very proud of it.

    Cinematical

  • It's asinine that The New York Times describes Esther as "dissonant," negatively, as if in sympathy with those critizing the decision to stage the work.

    Unnatural Acts of Opera

  • It will probably be a dissonant chord to help you see that it is the cacophony, the crack between the major expectations, where the light of n|om jazz shines its ray.

    The Bushman Way of Tracking God

  • That of being a voice out of the choir, a dissonant voice playing a false note in the dominant discourse recited by the ruling power.

    Aldo Civico: The King is Naked! In defense of Michele Santoro.

  • That of being a voice out of the choir, a dissonant voice playing a false note in the dominant discourse recited by the ruling power.

    Aldo Civico: The King is Naked! In defense of Michele Santoro.

  • That of being a voice out of the choir, a dissonant voice playing a false note in the dominant discourse recited by the ruling power.

    Aldo Civico: The King is Naked! In defense of Michele Santoro.

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