Definition of discordant in English:



  • 1Disagreeing or incongruous.

    ‘the operative principle of democracy is a balance of discordant qualities’
    • ‘You might guess that a show selected by six different people would appear discordant, reflecting a clash of outlook and taste.’
    • ‘I found a disturbing number of very different crème brûlée recipes out there, calling for widely discordant oven temp, cooking time and quantities of eggs/cream/sugar.’
    • ‘Analysis shows that the main reasons behind divorce are discordant personalities, extra-marital affairs, a weak marriage base, or physiological problems with one or other of the couple.’
    • ‘What is perhaps most fascinating about the coming election is that Shrum's trademark populism, which seemed so discordant just two years ago, will suddenly have renewed resonance.’
    • ‘It examined the divergent and discordant forces at work in the UK at the time: Scottish, Welsh and English nationalism, as well as the Northern Ireland conflict.’
    • ‘On the other hand, if the cues from different senses are discordant, perception can be distorted.’
    • ‘The two most highly differentially expressed transcripts in smokers that give discordant results in the mouse models encode secreted proteins.’
    • ‘Is it possible you see the controversy your films always generate and the wildly discordant judgments as a higher compliment to your work than universal praise would be?’
    • ‘For me, brunch is food anarchy, a gross and discordant ensemble of absolutely every dish you might ever conceivably eat for breakfast served with others normally reserved for lunch and dinner.’
    • ‘He added: ‘The sign looks a discordant and random afterthought which is entirely unsympathetic to the architectural integrity of this attractive building.’’
    • ‘As a consequence, the complex shows discordant evolutionary patterns at different levels of organization.’
    • ‘We hypothesized that variations in the distribution of emphysema would be associated with functional differences and therefore account for discordant physiology.’
    • ‘Unsurprisingly, different scales can lead to discordant results.’
    • ‘I don't see anything in the documents that is discordant with what were the times, what was the situation and what were the people involved.’
    • ‘All the discordant cases in the present study had only one grade difference with histological grading similar to earlier studies.’
    • ‘The width of the gap has been uncertain, because different preparation methods have yielded discordant results.’
    • ‘These techniques allow governments and corporations the freedom to promote ideas that would appear repulsive, discordant or even downright stupid if spoken in plain English.’
    • ‘Indeed, throughout the occupation, the stream of images continues to feel disturbingly discordant with our national identity.’
    in disagreement, at variance, at odds, disagreeing, differing, divergent, discrepant, contradictory, contrary, in conflict, conflicting, opposite, opposed, opposing, clashing
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    1. 1.1 Characterized by conflict.
      ‘a study of children in discordant homes’
      • ‘More formally too there is evidence of how factors such as peer pressure or a discordant home can have long-term consequences that affect learning.’
      • ‘Consequently, older children have more opportunities to find outside support systems that can help to buffer the deleterious effects of a discordant home.’
      • ‘I’ve come to a shocking realisation that I’m in a discordant relationship.’
      • ‘The country, which at present looks a Babel of discordant voices, is badly in need of a ‘light’ to get out of the darkness that has enveloped the nation.’
      • ‘In the early years her Cabinet was argumentative and discordant, a consequence not only of disagreements about economic strategy but also of her argumentative and directive style.’
      • ‘In April, after an intense and often discordant discussion between policy makers and the teacher training institutes, a new Decree on teacher training was voted in Parliament.’
      • ‘Take phenomenological psychologists focusing on the subject and behaviourists focusing on objects: They typically do not just write in different journals, they also disagree with each other in discordant ways.’
      • ‘Small businesses are becoming more discordant, with disciplinary procedures becoming formalised at an earlier stage and internal disagreements more likely to lead to legal action.’
  • 2(of sounds) harsh and jarring because of a lack of harmony.

    ‘the singers continued their discordant chanting’
    • ‘The music sounded like the tape was being stretched producing appalling sounds and off-key, discordant, unpleasant noises.’
    • ‘The musical voice was now a harsh discordant tone that echoed around him.’
    • ‘These lights are later accompanied by the discordant noises of machines losing contact with their source and breaking down.’
    • ‘She had to play it all by ear, and this tune had some glaringly discordant harmonies.’
    • ‘Getting a balance between the beauty of the instruments and the harsh discordant vocals seems difficult to achieve.’
    • ‘Its voice grows harsh, and discordant, sounding more like two people talking at once.’
    • ‘Even the moments of drama are fairly subtly presented, with little but an increase in odd sounds and discordant notes to herald them.’
    • ‘His fingers faltered on the piano keys, the discordant sound filling the room.’
    • ‘Close by the inn stood the ancient church, and the shrill, discordant clack of the cracked bell could be distinctly heard in the ballroom.’
    • ‘The sound was awful, each song was a tuneless, discordant dirge.’
    • ‘For the audience, the music is a blend of nontraditional, at times discordant, sound.’
    • ‘The film pieces together unrelated images and discordant sounds to evoke provocative after-images that flow seamlessly into one another.’
    • ‘Abruptly, he struck one of the guitar strings, making a discordant sound.’
    • ‘Their songs were too long, and were made up of loops created on the laptop utilising the most unmusical discordant sounds imaginable.’
    • ‘Rakael frowned as a harsh, discordant sound echoed in her ears.’
    • ‘He stalked out of the apartment and walked to the nearest club, harshly bright and resounding with discordant noise in the still night air.’
    • ‘He shut his eyes and prepared himself for the discordant sounds.’
    • ‘Furthermore, all manner of wind instruments are used to create discordant noises that sound dangerously close to flatulence.’
    • ‘It is hard, though, to shake the notion that all of these tiny tremors and discordant sounds do not harbor some degree of chaos ahead.’
    • ‘They sing a discordant series of sounds that can be alternately tuneful and rasping.’
    inharmonious, unharmonious, unmelodic, unmusical, tuneless, off-key, dissonant, harsh, jarring, grating, jangling, jangly, strident, shrill, screeching, screechy, cacophonous
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  • strike a discordant note

    • Appear strange and out of place.

      ‘the chair's modernity struck a discordant note in a room full of eighteenth-century furniture’
      • ‘One bit of political background in the movie struck a discordant note.’
      • ‘In a nation where harmony is the supreme value, no one is willing to strike a discordant note.’
      • ‘But, once more, her unwillingness to strike a discordant note among those she respects gives the impression of confusion or short-sightedness.’
      • ‘It wasn't all smooth sailing: a chartreuse box with yellow enamel on an iron channel strikes a discordant note.’
      • ‘The article strikes a discordant note precisely because it ignores the pope's counsel.’
      • ‘Bunches of peacock feathers in enormous bowls give the room an exotic look - though they strike a discordant note for the animal lover - while a cage of parakeets swings gently in the breeze in the pillared portico below.’
      • ‘However, when you step back a bit and look at the obvious direction that things are going, it does indeed strike a discordant note.’
      • ‘Other than that, however, she has rarely struck a discordant note.’
      • ‘He was voted Sports Personality of the Year in 1955 but struck a discordant note on screen by using the occasion to slam the media for damaging British sport.’
      • ‘The line does not strike a discordant note, then, as it would if the poem were really diffuse; it is rather a climactic point for which the previous stanzas have been preparing.’


Late Middle English: from Old French descordant, present participle of descorder (see discord).