[ yoo-nuh-suh n, -zuh n ]
/ ˈyu nə sən, -zən /


coincidence in pitch of two or more musical tones, voices, etc.
the musical interval of a perfect prime.
the performance of musical parts at the same pitch or at the octave.
a sounding together in octaves, especially of male and female voices or of higher and lower instruments of the same class.
a process in which all elements behave in the same way at the same time; simultaneous or synchronous parallel action: to march in unison.


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Idioms for unison

    in unison, in perfect accord; corresponding exactly: My feelings on the subject are in unison with yours.

Origin of unison

1565–75; < Medieval Latin ūnisonus of a single sound, equivalent to Latin ūni- uni- + sonus sound


non·u·ni·son, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for in unison (1 of 2)

/ (ˈjuːnɪsən, -zən) /


  1. the interval between two sounds of identical pitch
  2. (modifier) played or sung at the same pitchunison singing
complete agreement; harmony (esp in the phrase in unison)

Derived forms of unison

unisonous, unisonal or unisonant, adjective

Word Origin for unison

C16: from Late Latin ūnisonus, from uni- + sonus sound

British Dictionary definitions for in unison (2 of 2)

/ (ˈjuːnɪsən) /


(in Britain) a trade union representing local government, health care, and other workers: formed in 1993 by the amalgamation of COHSE, NALGO, and NUPE
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 in unison


Playing or singing the same musical notes, or notes separated from each other by one or several octaves. Musicians who perform in unison are not playing or singing chords.

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.

Idioms and Phrases with in unison

in unison


In complete agreement, harmonizing exactly. For example, Their opinion was in unison with ours. [Early 1800s]


Saying the same thing at the same time, simultaneously, as in The whole class answered in unison. [Late 1800s] Both usages allude to the unison of music, a single identical pitch.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.