1. A harsh, disagreeable combination of sounds; discord.
2. Lack of agreement, consistency, or harmony; conflict: "In Vietnam, reality fell away and dissonance between claim and fact filled the void" (Michael Janeway).
3. Music A combination of tones contextually considered to suggest unrelieved tension and require resolution.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.