harmony

[ hahr-muh-nee ]
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noun,plural har·mo·nies.
  1. agreement; accord; harmonious relations.

  2. a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.

  1. Music.

    • any simultaneous combination of tones.

    • the simultaneous combination of tones, especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear; chordal structure, as distinguished from melody and rhythm.

    • the science of the structure, relations, and practical combination of chords.

  2. an arrangement of the contents of the Gospels, either of all four or of the first three, designed to show their parallelism, mutual relations, and differences.

Origin of harmony

1
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English armonye, from Middle French, from Latin harmonia, from Greek harmonía “joint, framework, agreement, harmony,” akin to hárma “chariot,” harmós “joint,” ararískein “to join together”

synonym study For harmony

2. See symmetry. 3. Harmony, melody in music suggest a combination of sounds from voices or musical instruments. Harmony is the blending of simultaneous sounds of different pitch or quality, making chords: harmony in part singing; harmony between violins and horns. Melody is the rhythmical combination of successive sounds of various pitch, making up the tune or air: a tuneful melody to accompany cheerful words.

word story For harmony

Harmony comes into English via Latin harmonia “conjunction, joining, (musical) melody, agreement among the various parts of the body (in an explanation of the nature of the soul).” Harmonia comes from Greek harmonía, which has all of the Latin meanings as well as many technical ones, e.g., in music, “octave, mode, pitch (of the voice)”; in philosophy, “framework of the universe, principle of union,” and in the Pythagorean system, the name of the number “three”; in medicine, anatomy, and physiology, “suture, union, temperament”; in law and government, “order, good order, settled arrangement, covenant, agreement.”
Harmonía ultimately derives from the very complicated Proto-Indo-European root ar-, (a)re-, rē-, ṛ- (with still more variants) “to fit, fit together, join.” Reflexes (derivatives) of this root appear in English arm (of the body), Latin arma “equipment, gear, weapons” and armus “(upper) arm.” Farther afield, Hittite has āra- “proper, fitting” and arā- “friend.”
The root variant ṛ- with a suffixed -t forms the noun stems ṛt- and art- “joined together, fitted,” source of Latin ars (stem art- ) “skill, dexterity, art,” artus (noun) and articulus “joint (of the body),” and artus (adjective) “tight, firm.” In the Indo-Iranian languages, ṛt- and art- form the nouns ṛtá- “order, truth, rule” in Vedic Sanskrit and arta (also aša ) “truth, right, justice, right order” in Zoroastrianism, in which arta- is the central principle and the foe of druj “deceit, falsehood, lie.”
Arta- is also the first element of the magnificent Old Iranian names Artavasdes, a Hellenized version of Artavazda (“exalting arta- ”), and Artvardiya “doer of arta- ”; Artaxerxes (Old Persian Artaxšacā ) “having a just kingdom” is from arta- and xšacā “rule, kingdom.” Xérxēs is the Hellenized form of Old Persian Xšyaršā ( Xšayaṛšā, Xšayaršā ) “ruling over heroes.” Xerxes I ruled the Persian Empire 486–465 b.c. He has a thoroughly bad rep: the new Athenian navy won a miraculous victory over his fleet in 480 b.c., and the Spartans and their allies crushed the Persian land forces in 479 b.c. After the debacle against the Greeks, Xerxes devoted himself to wine and women. He is Ahasuerus in the Hebrew Bible, in the Book of Esther.

Other words for harmony

Other words from harmony

  • non·har·mo·ny, noun, plural non·har·mo·nies.
  • pre·har·mo·ny, noun

Words Nearby harmony

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How to use harmony in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for harmony

harmony

/ (ˈhɑːmənɪ) /


nounplural -nies
  1. agreement in action, opinion, feeling, etc; accord

  2. order or congruity of parts to their whole or to one another

  1. agreeable sounds

  2. music

    • any combination of notes sounded simultaneously

    • the vertically represented structure of a piece of music: Compare melody (def. 1b), rhythm (def. 1)

    • the art or science concerned with the structure and combinations of chords

  3. a collation of the material of parallel narratives, esp of the four Gospels

Origin of harmony

1
C14: from Latin harmonia concord of sounds, from Greek: harmony, from harmos a joint

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

Cultural definitions for harmony

harmony

The sounding of two or more musical notes at the same time in a way that is pleasant or desired. Harmony, melody, and rhythm are elements of music.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.