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[kuh-kof-uh-nee] /kəˈkɒf ə ni/
noun, plural cacophonies.
harsh discordance of sound; dissonance:
a cacophony of hoots, cackles, and wails.
a discordant and meaningless mixture of sounds:
the cacophony produced by city traffic at midday.
Music. frequent use of discords of a harshness and relationship difficult to understand.
Origin of cacophony
1650-60; < New Latin cacophonia < Greek kakophōnía. See caco-, -phony
Related forms
[kak-uh-fon-ik] /ˌkæk əˈfɒn ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cacophony
  • The resulting cacophony is exhausting for the user, who must concentrate to isolate relevant input.
  • On such networks, conventional wiretaps will yield a cacophony of useless electronic noise.
  • When I blog on politics, on the other hand, there's a cacophony of voices.
  • Some worry that such changes will invite a cacophony of contentious discussion.
  • On a busy Saturday night, however, the restaurant's warehouse dimensions and bustling open kitchen can spell cacophony.
  • Moving the headset any further than that results in an ear screeching cacophony of static and pops.
  • The resulting cacophony has drowned out everything else.
  • The silence that ensued was almost as deafening as the cacophony that had preceded it.
  • Bars of color are projected the length of a wall and are accompanied by a cacophony of otherworldly sounds.
  • If research was music, it was either a dirge or a modern cacophony of discordant simulations.
British Dictionary definitions for cacophony


noun (pl) -nies
harsh discordant sound; dissonance
the use of unharmonious or dissonant speech sounds in language
Compare euphony
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 cacophony

1650s, from Greek kakophonia, from kakophonos "harsh sounding," from kakos "bad, evil" (see caco-) + phone "voice" (see fame (n.)). Related: Cacophonous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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