noun, plural har·mo·nies.
- 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.
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Origin of harmony
synonym study for harmony
historical usage of harmony
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 FROM harmonynon·har·mo·ny, noun, plural non·har·mo·nies.pre·har·mo·ny, noun
Words nearby harmony
How to use harmony in a sentence
The official talk is of art and nature in harmony, but in truth, both the art and the landscaping are trying to outmuscle nature, rework it, master it.Sculpture parks are a great way to see art during a pandemic. Here’s why some are better than others.|Sebastian Smee|February 11, 2021|Washington Post
Ruffin is seeking that harmony of humor in truth-telling amid despair, but it's not always easy.
That leaves this decision to the second husbands and wives — with the warning that, if they value family harmony, they will not adopt titles they have not earned.Miss Manners: Stop trying to please abusive parent|Judith Martin, Nicholas Martin, Jacobina Martin|January 27, 2021|Washington Post
We’ve seen parts of the world where neighbors have lived with each other in harmony, but there is always the danger that this will break down.Humans Have Gotten Nicer and Better at Making War - Issue 94: Evolving|Steve Paulson|January 6, 2021|Nautilus
Our experiments showed that Americans found people who conform to protect others’ feelings or to maintain group harmony to be warmer, more competent, and more authentic.How we can encourage people to wear masks — for others’ sake|Shai Davidai|December 24, 2020|Vox
I had to play melody while simultaneously playing harmony with him.
As a young baby, her mother would sing her lullabies and “get totally freaked out” when she started singing them back in harmony.‘All About That Bass’ Singer Meghan Trainor On Haters and Her Polarizing (and Unlikely) No. 1 Hit|Marlow Stern|October 7, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Low-mass black holes “sing” in harmony with themselves, though with flashes of light instead of sound.
Soon cover versions were recorded by acts like Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Dope, and Rage Against the Machine.
He wanted peace and harmony, and in this respect he was just another Roman ruler interested in imperial unity.Plotting Nicea III Could Be Pope Francis's Masterstroke|Candida Moss|June 8, 2014|DAILY BEAST
They are so rich in harmony, so weird, so wild, that when you hear them you are like a sea-weed cast upon the bosom of the ocean.Music-Study in Germany|Amy Fay
Much later, in the case of all but gifted children, do the mysteries of harmony begin to take on definite form and meaning.Children's Ways|James Sully
There was acute disharmony in the room, where a little time before there had been at least an outward show of harmony.The Wave|Algernon Blackwood
The little glimpse of domestic harmony which had been offered her, gave her no regret, no longing.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories|Kate Chopin
In harmony with a fundamental rule of law, a member who has once been acquitted cannot be tried again for the same offense.Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman|Albert Sidney Bolles
British Dictionary definitions for harmony
noun plural -nies
Word Origin for harmony
Cultural definitions for 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.