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

  • adj. Lacking in musical qualities, such as melody or harmony.
  • adj. Sounding harsh to the ear; dissonant.
  • adj. Not skilled or interested in music.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not musical: lacking in musical ability.
  • adj. Not musical: unmelodic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not musical; not harmonious or melodious; not pleasing to the ear.
  • Not skilled in or fond of music: as, unmusical people.

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

  • adj. lacking melody
  • adj. not musical in nature
  • adj. lacking interest in or talent for music


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • QUOTATION: A name unmusical to the Volscians’ ears,


  • The contrast within the Scripture of the musical and the unmusical is a very marked one.

    The Greatest English Classic

  • I'm not a very good singer and I am not completely "unmusical," but I am close.

    Greg Archer: What's Next for Next to Normal?

  • Dismissing what you don't like as being somehow bad for music or "unmusical" whatever the hell that means is unbelievably petty and pointless.

    The Guitar Superdork Returns

  • It owes its origin to a bygone custom of the town, of serenading widows on the evening of their second marriage, with drums, trumpets, kettles, and every kind of unmusical instrument that could be pressed into the service of the uproarious ceremony.

    The Argosy Vol. 51, No. 5, May, 1891

  • The gradations, too, are here quite as great as in mathematics or pictorial art, and the special faculty of the great musical composer must be reckoned many hundreds or perhaps thousands of times greater than that of the ordinary "unmusical" person above referred to.

    Darwinism (1889)

  • Indeed, there was no dancing in the early part of the evening; it was rather a musical company, and Betty's favourite amusement was often interrupted; for the music was too good, and the people present too well-bred, to allow of that jumble of sounds musical and unmusical which is so distressing, and alas! not so rare.

    A Red Wallflower

  • In a spontaneous competition for music directors present at the awards, Javed Akhtar gave them an 'unmusical' verse to compose on IPL and the general elections.

    The Times of India

  • Anything that can allow those that feel "unmusical" to create interesting new sounds and pieces is a good thing-I've seen far too many students balk at the keyboard or other traditional instruments, since they

    Music, Technology and Education:

  • Our indebtedness, whether we like it or not, extends to, among other things: the fetishizing of visual detail; the inverted relation between background and foreground detail (or habitual and dynamic detail); the sacralization of art; the privileging of the music of style over the recalcitrance of 'unmusical' subject matter (Flaubert's famous desire to write a book about nothing); the agonizing over aesthetic labor—all this looks pretty new, and different in many ways from Balzac's great achievements and solutions, not least because these new Flaubertian anxieties cannot be solutions.

    The Mission


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