in unison


[yoo-nuh-suhn, -zuhn]
coincidence in pitch of two or more musical tones, voices, etc.
the musical interval of a perfect prime.
the performance of musical parts at the same pitch or at the octave.
a sounding together in octaves, especially of male and female voices or of higher and lower instruments of the same class.
a process in which all elements behave in the same way at the same time; simultaneous or synchronous parallel action: to march in unison.
in unison, in perfect accord; corresponding exactly: My feelings on the subject are in unison with yours.

1565–75; < Medieval Latin ūnisonus of a single sound, equivalent to Latin ūni- uni- + sonus sound

nonunison, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
unison (ˈjuːnɪsən, -zən)
1.  music
 a.  the interval between two sounds of identical pitch
 b.  (modifier) played or sung at the same pitch: unison singing
2.  complete agreement; harmony (esp in the phrase in unison)
[C16: from Late Latin ūnisonus, from uni- + sonus sound]

UNISON (ˈjuːnɪsən)
(in Britain) a trade union representing local government, health care, and other workers: formed in 1993 by the amalgamation of COHSE, NALGO, and NUPE

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1574, from M.Fr. unisson "unison, accord of sound" (16c.), from M.L. unisonus "having one sound, sounding the same," from L.L. unisonius "in immediate sequence in the scale, monotonous," from L. uni- "one" (see one) + sonus "sound" (see sound (n.1)).
Sense of "harmonious agreement" is first attested 1650.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

unison definition

Playing or singing the same musical notes, or notes separated from each other by one or several octaves. Musicians who perform in unison are not playing or singing chords.

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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

in unison

  1. In complete agreement, harmonizing exactly. For example, Their opinion was in unison with ours. [Early 1800s]

  2. Saying the same thing at the same time, simultaneously, as in The whole class answered in unison. [Late 1800s] Both usages allude to the unison of music, a single identical pitch.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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