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[kuh-kof-uh-nee] /kəˈkɒf ə ni/
noun, plural cacophonies.
harsh discordance of sound; dissonance:
a cacophony of hoots, cackles, and wails.
a discordant and meaningless mixture of sounds:
the cacophony produced by city traffic at midday.
Music. frequent use of discords of a harshness and relationship difficult to understand.
Origin of cacophony
1650-60; < New Latin cacophonia < Greek kakophōnía. See caco-, -phony
Related forms
[kak-uh-fon-ik] /ˌkæk əˈfɒn ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cacophony
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Undeterred by but four hours' rest, punctually at six the cacophony of brass began again.

    Poor Folk in Spain Jan Gordon
  • Then it was cacophony, a thousand different shouting voices.

    Little Brother Cory Doctorow
  • Men to me were a sort of musical instrument from which I could evoke any harmony or cacophony I chose.

    Black Oxen Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
  • A cacophony of loud shouts from behind him told of the arrival of reinforcements.

    The Return of Tharn Howard Carleton Browne
  • There was a cacophony of hisses in her toothless mouth, enough to make all the dogs in Paris howl.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
British Dictionary definitions for cacophony


noun (pl) -nies
harsh discordant sound; dissonance
the use of unharmonious or dissonant speech sounds in language
Compare euphony
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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Word Origin and History for cacophony

1650s, from Greek kakophonia, from kakophonos "harsh sounding," from kakos "bad, evil" (see caco-) + phone "voice" (see fame (n.)). Related: Cacophonous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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