having a harsh or discordant sound.

Origin of cacophonous

From the Greek word kakóphōnos, dating back to 1790–1800. See caco-, -phone, -ous
Related formsca·coph·o·nous·ly, adverbun·ca·coph·o·nous, adjective

Synonyms for cacophonous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cacophonous

Contemporary Examples of cacophonous

Historical Examples of cacophonous

  • 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.

  • 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


cacophonic (ˌkækəˈfɒnɪk)


jarring in sound; discordant; harsh
Derived Formscacophonously or 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