If you speak English, it’s more than likely that you’ve heard the word harmony now and again. Maybe you’ve heard it in the context of music, or perhaps you’ve listened to it in the context of a personal relationship with a friend or loved one.
Harmony is an incredibly important word, and it has several different definitions, making it incredibly important to understand so as to avoid any confusion about what you or another person is saying.
With that in mind, today’s word of the day is harmony. By the end of this short guide, you’ll have a solid understanding of the word harmony, its definitions, its etymology, and how to use it. Let’s get started.
What Is the Meaning of the Word Harmony?
Harmony, pronounced ˈhɑrməni, is a fairly simple word, and its definitions are not very complex, but there are several different definitions to keep track of. Here is a quick list of the definitions of the word harmony:
- The combination of multiple simultaneous sounding musical notes to make a pleasant sound together
- A scenario that is suitable and peaceable, where everyone is in agreement
- A pleasant combination of individual parts that has great synchronization, cohesiveness, and unity
These definitions have their differences, but they also have one key similarity: unity and cohesiveness.
Musical harmony is an incredibly important aspect of music. It is quite a complex subject, and it takes years to master it, but in short, it is the intentional and pleasing combination of notes to make a pleasant sound. This can take the form of chords, counterpoint melodies, and other types of musical consonance as opposed to dissonance.
Harmony is often called the vertical dimension of music. Melody and harmony form an inseparable partnership that is fundamental to all the music we know and love.
Next, we have harmony between people. In the context of relationships, harmony is when everyone is at peace with one another. There is a sense of congruity in the group, there isn’t any disagreement, and everyone is working together well.
Then there is harmony in a more general sense. This version of harmony simply indicates that several things are working together well to make a unified finished product. One could say that an artist uses various colors in harmony, or that several pieces of a machine work together in harmony.
Common Collocations for the Word Harmony
A collocation is a pairing of two words that happens more often than it normally would by chance. They are colloquialisms that English speakers all use. Here are a few collocations for the word harmony.
- Beautiful harmony
- Close harmony
- Four-part harmony
- Perfect harmony
- Domestic harmony
One Other Possible Meaning
You may also hear the word harmony as a name for a girl. In recent years, the name Harmony has become more popular in English-speaking countries.
Other Forms of the Word
There are different forms of the word harmony, including the adjectives “harmonic” and “harmonious.”
Where Did the Word Harmony Come From?
To help bring more clarity to the definition of harmony, let’s look at the history of how it came to be or its etymology.
The word harmony is like many other words in the English language in that it finds its roots in Greek. Its oldest ancestor is the Greek harmos, which is the Greek word for “joint.”
This Greek word later became the root for the Latin harmonia, meaning “joining, or concord.” Harmonia took the idea of a joint and created a word specifically for the joining together of two things.
Harmonia then made its way into Old French, and it didn’t change its spelling or meaning at all. It only changed in pronunciation.
From there, the word finally made its way into Middle English, spelled “harmony.” The definition would evolve slightly over time, but the core idea remains the same: the joining together of multiple things.
What Are Some Examples of the Word Harmony in a Sentence?
Seeing a word in context can help bring more clarity to its definition and how you can use it in your own life. Here are some example sentences that use the word harmony:
- There is nothing like going to the symphony and witnessing the expressive, beautiful harmonies and melodies of the musical instruments live and in person.
- It’s crazy that you can look at a piece of music and understand all the harmonies at play.
- Harmony is one of the most foundational elements in the structure of music.
- The harmony of the universe is simply baffling, to the point where I don’t know if I believe it all happened by chance.
- Throughout the Gospels, Jesus preached a message of love and harmony with one’s neighbors.
- This particular painting lacks harmony. The color palette seems a bit jumbled and not well thought out.
- Sure there are elements of American English and British English that have some harmony, but sometimes it feels like they’re two different languages altogether.
- If we could establish some form of harmonious relations between the two countries, the world would be a safer place.
What Are the Synonyms of the Word Harmony?
Here are some synonyms of the word harmony that you might find in a thesaurus or English dictionary.
What Are its Antonyms?
And here are some antonyms for the word harmony.
The Word Harmony
Now you know everything you need to know about the word harmony, its definition, its history, and how to use it. Use it confidently in your writing and your conversation. And if you need a refresher on this word, come back to this article for the information you need.