Dictionary and Journal

Cacophony Dictionary Definitions

Cacophony is the dissonance that produces the inharmonious combination of sounds in a word or phrase. The word, as such, comes from the Greek κακοφωνία (kakophonia), which is composed with the roots κακός (kakós), which means ‘bad’ or ‘unpleasant’, and φωνή (phoné) that translates ‘sound’.

Cacophony can occur as a result of unnecessary, exaggerated or close repetition of a sound in the same sentence. Thus, examples of cacophonies could be:

  • The technical director announces his resignation.
  • The commenter commented that the fans were standing.
  • They are filming a film in my city.
  • His obsession is the setting of a condition that stops this situation in the region.

The cacophonies are considered a vice of the language that affects the speech, therefore, it is advisable to avoid them when writing a text.

One way to identify them is by reading the text aloud. To correct them, on the other hand, we can appeal to some simple techniques such as passing some of the words to the plural, replacing them with a good synonym or altering the word order to distance the sounds that are producing the cacophony.

Cacophony is also considered as a grammatical criterion for certain cases. For example, the noun water, which is feminine, masculine article is written with singular to avoid the cacophony: the water and not the water. The same goes for other nouns that begin with a tonic, such as art, eagle, etc.

On the other hand, cacophonies are also used in language exercises to practice the correct pronunciation of certain phonemes. For example: “Three sad tigers took wheat in a wheat field in three sad tackles.”

Also it appears in humorous phrases or puns such as, for example, “Crazy, crazy and she loquita. I put it and she removes it. ”

Likewise, cacophony can also be used as a literary or style resource to convey a certain emphasis or effect to an idea. For example: “How do you want me to love you if the one I want to love me does not love me as I want him to love me?”

Synonym of cacophony, on the other hand, would be dissonance. While its antonym would be euphony.