- a simultaneous combination of tones conventionally accepted as being in a state of unrest and needing completion.
- an unresolved, discordant chord or interval.Compare consonance (def. 3).
Words nearby dissonance
What does dissonance mean?
Dissonance is harsh, inharmonious noise—cacophony.
It can also refer to stark disagreement or lack of consistency.
In both cases, a close synonym is discord.
In the context of music, the word dissonance is used in a specific way to refer to a combination of sounds thought to be inharmonious (often ones intentionally composed to be so). It can also refer to a chord or interval that features such disharmony.
In music and in general, dissonance is the opposite of consonance, which means harmony, agreement, or accord.
In psychology, the term cognitive dissonance refers to the unease a person feels when they have two or more contradictory or incompatible beliefs.
An adjective form of dissonance is dissonant.
Example: Leaders in both factions of the party promised harmony, but so far there has been nothing but dissonance and constant arguing.
Where does dissonance come from?
The first records of the word dissonance come from the 1500s. It ultimately derives from the Latin verb dissonāre, meaning “to sound harsh,” from dissonus, meaning “discordant.”
The word dissonance is used in several different contexts, including music, psychology, cultural studies, and poetry. In all cases, it involves disagreement or discord between different elements. In music, dissonance is often used in modern compositions with the intention of producing a jarring effect that’s the opposite of harmony. The idea of cultural dissonance is similar to culture shock, in which there is an overwhelming and uncomfortable sense of confusion upon entering an unknown or rapidly changing environment. Such cultural dissonance often results from an extreme difference in values and traditions, among other things. In poetry, dissonance is the intentional avoidance of assonance, which is the repetition of the same vowel sounds in different words to create what’s called a vowel rhyme.
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What are some other forms of dissonance?
- dissonant (adjective)
What are some synonyms for dissonance?
What are some words that share a root or word element with dissonance?
What are some words that often get used in discussing dissonance?
How is dissonance used in real life?
The word dissonance is used in several different specific contexts. It’s also commonly used in a general way.
This story is one illustration of the cultural dissonance immigrants—especially youth—experience. Immigration is traumatic. People do not leave their homelands flippantly. They do so for better opportunities, for survival. And immigrant children typically have no choice.
— Nancy Wang Yuen (@nancywyuen) February 23, 2019
such extreme dissonance to see a really, really great talk that uses comic sans
— Michael Eisen (@mbeisen) July 10, 2015
"Shirley" is backed by one of the most evocative scores I've heard in years. Piano. Violin. Railroad crossing bells. Dissonance. Roots music. Blues.
And it all works.
— Karen "The Dark Angel of Editing" Conlin (@GramrgednAngel) June 19, 2020
Try using dissonance!
Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of dissonance?
How to use dissonance in a sentence
Those messages highlighted the growing dissonance between reggaeton’s origins in poor, marginalized communities in Puerto Rico and Panama and the genre’s contemporary and increasingly global image.Reggaeton needed a racial reckoning. Afro-Latinos are leading it.|Bethonie Butler|November 23, 2020|Washington Post
There is some dissonance between the two heads fighting each other, but it’s the same animal.
Of course, we seem to be in the age of dissonance when it comes to marketing conferences as last year’s Advertising Week was held at the same time as the United Nation’s General Assembly on Climate Action.‘Don’t have the luxury of doing good’: The age of dissonance continues at this year’s ANAs — and beyond|Kristina Monllos|October 27, 2020|Digiday
Perhaps there’s just too much dissonance when I pair it with chicken, the bar too high to meet.Until I Can Go Back to My Favorite Restaurant, This Jerk Paste Is the Next Best Thing|Elazar Sontag|September 25, 2020|Eater
This will only make your user experience skyrocket and help negate dissonance from users.
A big part of the reason is a simple psychological phenomenon called cognitive dissonance.
These subversive narratives were not the solution I sought to the dissonance between my expected and actual college experience.
But when the school holds a ceremony honoring the soldiers who killed her Arab brethren, she suffers clear cognitive dissonance.
But when she takes on the rock scene, she manages to catch all the sociological dissonance and subtle countermelodies.
The European rules create cognitive dissonance: Reality refuses to line up with their convictions.
To make the dissonance more striking, we place the passages in parallel columns.Ancient Faiths And Modern|Thomas Inman
It was a tumult of harsh voices; but to Fabri in his happiness their various dissonance made sweet harmony.The Age of Erasmus|P. S. Allen
Clash of character being the starting point of drama we have it amplified in the international by both sympathy and dissonance.Polly the Pagan|Isabel Anderson
Dissonance to a musical ear is not more horrid than want of harmony between characters to the soul of sensibility.Leonora|Maria Edgeworth
He could but hope there might be some way of reconciling the terrible dissonance between Nature and Barbara's God!There and Back|George MacDonald
British Dictionary definitions for dissonance
- a sensation commonly associated with all intervals of the second and seventh, all diminished and augmented intervals, and all chords based on these intervalsCompare consonance (def. 3)
- an interval or chord of this kind