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Origin of dissonant

1400–50; late Middle English dissonaunte (< Anglo-French) < Latin dissonant- (stem of dissonāns, present participle of dissonāre to sound harsh), equivalent to disson- (derivative of dissonus discordant; see dis-1, sound1) + -ant- -ant
Related formsdis·so·nant·ly, adverbun·dis·so·nant, adjectiveun·dis·so·nant·ly, adverb

Synonyms for dissonant

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dissonant

Contemporary Examples of dissonant

Historical Examples of dissonant

  • She was fitted to this landscape, whereas the other woman was alien and dissonant.

  • Cicero found it barren and dissonant, and as such he had to deal with it.

  • Their apparel is indifferent, so it be dissonant from the laity.

  • They were taller and bulkier than the Cambrians, and were speaking a dissonant English jargon.

    Wild Wales

    George Borrow

  • The ringers cracked a bell in Briarfield belfry; it is dissonant to this day.


    Charlotte Bront

British Dictionary definitions for dissonant


  1. discordant; cacophonous
  2. incongruous or discrepant
  3. music characterized by dissonance
Derived Formsdissonantly, adverb

Word Origin for dissonant

C15: from Latin dissonāre to be discordant, from dis- 1 + sonāre to sound
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 dissonant

early 15c., from Middle French dissonant and directly from Latin dissonantem (nominative dissonans), present participle of dissonare "differ in sound," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + sonare "to sound" (see sonata).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper