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[kuh-kof-uh-nuh s] /kəˈkɒf ə nəs/
having a harsh or discordant sound.
Origin of cacophonous
From the Greek word kakóphōnos, dating back to 1790-1800. See caco-, -phone, -ous
Related forms
cacophonously, adverb
uncacophonous, adjective
dissonant, strident, grating, raucous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cacophonous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mr. Landon Ronald expressed sympathy with musicians who were handicapped by cacophonous or undignified names.

  • She had a black eye which the cacophonous fiend had probably given her, and she grinned like a happy child of nature.

    The Morals of Marcus Ordeyne William J. Locke
  • Through the halls resounded the cacophonous clangour of a cracked gong announcing dinner.

    The Day of Days Louis Joseph Vance
  • In Orocué they always began their cacophonous serenade at nightfall, and kept it up uninterruptedly until the following morning.

  • Yet again, he talks vaguely of the intricate polyphony of a cosmic orchestra, cacophonous to our dull ears.

    A Book of Prefaces H. L. Mencken
British Dictionary definitions for cacophonous


jarring in sound; discordant; harsh
Derived Forms
cacophonously, cacophonically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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