The Meaning of Discord: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of discord? This article will provide you with all of the info you need on the word discord, including its definition, etymology, synonyms, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word discord mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary, the word discord, pronounced “dɪsˈkɔrd” is a noun that has a couple of different meanings. The first meaning is some lack of agreement or lack of harmony between people, things or ideas that can lead to active conflict and quarreling as a result. Someone might say that there is discord between the football coach who needs all of his students to pass their classes and the teacher who refuses to pass the football players because they do not do any of their work. Two people on the verge of divorce might have marital discord.

The term discord is also a frequently used word when it comes to music and composition. In this case, discord refers to dissonance, or some inharmonious combination of musical tones, musical notes or sounds that is very harsh and unpleasant to the ear. Sometimes composers use discordance on purpose in order to create jarring sounds for the listener.

The word discord can also be used as a verb to refer to the action of disagreeing or clashing with another person o, party, or thing about some given topic. Other related words to discord include discorded, discording, discords, discordance, and disaccord.

The word discord is also used in a great many other languages to refer to arguments or moments of disharmony. This list of translations for the rod discord is provided by Word Sense.

  • Russian: разногла́сие‎ (neut.), разла́д‎ (masc.), несогла́сие‎ (neut.)
  • Swedish: missämja‎ (common), oenighet‎ (common), split‎ (neut.)
  • Bulgarian: несъгласие‎ (neut.), разногласие‎ (neut.)
  • Chinese – Mandarin: 不調和‎, 不调和‎ (bùtiáohé), 不和‎ (bùhé)
  • Finnish: epäsopu‎, eripura‎ (general); soraääni‎ (individual)
  • Korean: 불협화음‎
  • Romanian: discordie‎ (fem.)
  • Greek: διχόνοια‎ (fem.), διάσταση‎ (fem.), έριδα‎ (fem.)
  • Italian: discordia‎ (fem.), dissenso‎ (masc.), zizzania‎ (fem.)
  • Scottish Gaelic: mì-chòrdadh‎ (masc.), eas-aonta‎ (masc.), eadar-chasaideachd‎ (fem.)
  • German: Uneinigkeit‎ (fem.), Streit‎ (masc.)
  • Japanese: 不調和‎ (ふちょうわ, fuchōwa), 不和‎ (ふわ, fuwa)
  • Polish: niezgoda‎ (fem.)
  • Portuguese: discórdia‎ (fem.)
  • Dutch: onenigheid‎ (fem.)
  • Irish: imreas‎ (masc.)
  • Spanish: discordia‎ (fem.)

What is the origin of the word discord?

According to Etymonline, the word discord or discorde has been used since the early 13th century. The word comes from the Old French descort or descorde meaning disagreement, from the 12th century. This is a derivative of descorder. The French term stems from the Latin discordia, from discors, the genitive discordis from the Latin discordare which means disagreeing or disagreement. This comes from the prefix dis meaning apart, and the root cordis meaning heart. This stems from the Proto-Indo-European root kerd meaning heart.

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word discord?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word discord. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. One might choose to use a synonym because they want to avoid repeating themselves, or because they would like to work  on expanding their vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word discord is provided by Thesaurus

  • bad feeling
  • ruckus
  • antagonism
  • set-to
  • bickering
  • counteraction
  • resentment
  • opposition
  • bone to pick
  • jangle
  • friction
  • racket
  • trouble
  • hatred
  • disharmony
  • row
  • cacophony
  • harshness
  • faction
  • disunity
  • wrangling
  • hassle
  • jarring
  • hostility
  • tumult
  • interference
  • flak
  • bad blood
  • clamor
  • conflict
  • discontent
  • rumpus
  • impedance
  • sour note
  • quarrel
  • factionalism
  • resistance
  • rivalry
  • din
  • dissonance
  • dissension
  • incompatibility
  • dispute
  • animosity
  • strife
  • clinker

There are also a great many words that mean the opposite of the word discord. These are called antonyms. English language antonyms are also very useful grammatical devices to know. This list of antonyms for the word discord is also provided by Thesaurus

  • assenting
  • alliance
  • compatibility
  • reconciliation
  • concert
  • harmony
  • adjustment
  • concord
  • arrangement
  • acknowledging
  • affinity
  • accordance
  • arbitration
  • compromise
  • concurring
  • concordance
  • concession
  • concurrance
  • accession
  • agreement
  • mediation
  • bargaining
  • authorizing
  • congruity
  • ratifying
  • similarity
  • suitableness
  • union
  • verification
  • understanding
  • verifying
  • unison
  • endorsing
  • granting
  • sympathy
  • correspondence
  • approving
  • consistency
  • acceding
  • affiliation
  • accommodation
  • conformity
  • complying
  • amity
  • compliance
  • accord

How can the word discord be used in a sentence?

The word discord can be used in many different circumstances to describe some disagreement or conflict between people, things, and ideas. The term discord can also refer to a musical term that means some harsh conflict in sounds that is displeasing to the ear. In the below example, the term discord will refer to a disagreement between two people. In this example, Hannah and Levi are working on their history project and there is great discord between them. Levi’s mom steps in.

Hannah: I don’t know why I thought I could trust you to do the poster. Your handwriting is terrible.

Levi:  I told you I would’ve done the essay part!

Hannah: You don’t know anything about the American Revolution! You thought the Boston Tea Party was what happened in Alice in Wonderland!

Levi’s Mom: What is going on in here? So much discord, you two! What happened?

Hannah” Levi hasn’t paid attention a single day in class and now he expects me to do everything for our project/

Levi” Well Hannah is a total control freak and won’t let me be responsible for anything!

Hannah: Because you mess everything up!

Overall, the word discord has a few different meanings. As a noun this word can be used to refer to a disagreement or conflict between two different people, parties or things. Musically, this can refer to a harsh noise of dissonant intervals that create a jarring, unpleasant sound for the listener. The term discord can also be used as a verb to describe the action of disagreeing or conflicting with a person or thing. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/discord
  2. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/accord
  3. https://www.wordsense.eu/discord/
  4. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discord
  5. https://www.etymonline.com/word/discord