noun, plural ca·coph·o·nies.

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.

Nearby words

  1. cacomistle,
  2. caconym,
  3. cacoon,
  4. cacophonic,
  5. cacophonous,
  6. cacosmia,
  7. cacoëthes,
  8. cacqueteuse,
  9. cactaceous,
  10. cactoblastis

Origin of cacophony

1650–60; < New Latin cacophonia < Greek kakophōnía. See caco-, -phony

Related formscac·o·phon·ic [kak-uh-fon-ik] /ˌkæk əˈfɒn ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cacophony

British Dictionary definitions for cacophony


noun plural -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

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