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[hahr-muh-nee] /ˈhɑr mə ni/
noun, plural harmonies.
agreement; accord; harmonious relations.
a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.
  1. any simultaneous combination of tones.
  2. the simultaneous combination of tones, especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear; chordal structure, as distinguished from melody and rhythm.
  3. the science of the structure, relations, and practical combination of chords.
an arrangement of the contents of the Gospels, either of all four or of the first three, designed to show their parallelism, mutual relations, and differences.
Origin of harmony
1350-1400; Middle English armonye < Middle French < Latin harmonia < Greek harmonía joint, framework, agreement, harmony, akin to hárma chariot, harmós joint, ararískein to join together
Related forms
nonharmony, noun, plural nonharmonies.
preharmony, noun
1. concord, unity, peace, amity, friendship. 2. consonance, conformity, correspondence, consistency. See symmetry. 3. Harmony, melody in music suggest a combination of sounds from voices or musical instruments. Harmony is the blending of simultaneous sounds of different pitch or quality, making chords: harmony in part singing; harmony between violins and horns. Melody is the rhythmical combination of successive sounds of various pitch, making up the tune or air: a tuneful melody to accompany cheerful words. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for harmony
  • We have heard a lot recently about the need for consensus, social harmony, and civility.
  • Whether they will be equal to the composition of a more extensive run of melody, or of complicated harmony, is yet to be proved.
  • But far from promoting social harmony, the preoccupation with talent had produced social breakdown.
  • The jungle and the ruins intertwine in beautiful and mysterious harmony.
  • Without electricity or modern conveniences, they strive to simplify their lifestyle to be in harmony with the land.
  • Its four members all sing, and its songs bask in harmony.
  • We should all try to live in harmony with each on in a friendly eco system.
  • Likeness does not necessarily lead to harmony.
  • But in the past few weeks, its effort to achieve unity on foreign policy has sounded more like cacophony than harmony.
  • Fantasy strives for harmony, restoration, and balance.
British Dictionary definitions for harmony


noun (pl) -nies
agreement in action, opinion, feeling, etc; accord
order or congruity of parts to their whole or to one another
agreeable sounds
  1. any combination of notes sounded simultaneously
  2. the vertically represented structure of a piece of music Compare melody (sense 1b), rhythm (sense 1)
  3. the art or science concerned with the structure and combinations of chords
a collation of the material of parallel narratives, esp of the four Gospels
Word Origin
C14: from Latin harmonia concord of sounds, from Greek: harmony, from harmos a joint
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
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Word Origin and History for harmony

late 14c., from Old French armonie "harmony," also the name of a musical instrument (12c.), from Latin harmonia, from Greek harmonia "agreement, concord of sounds," also as a proper name, the personification of music, literally "means of joining," used of ship-planks, etc., also "settled government, order," related to harmos "fastenings of a door; shoulder," from PIE *ar-ti-, from *ar- "to fit together" (see arm (n.1)). Musical sense is oldest in English; that of "agreement of feeling, concord" is from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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harmony in Culture

harmony definition

The sounding of two or more musical notes at the same time in a way that is pleasant or desired. Harmony, melody, and rhythm are elements of music.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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