(redirected from consonances)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.


1. Agreement; harmony; accord.
a. Close correspondence of sounds.
b. The repetition of consonants or of a consonant pattern, especially at the ends of words, as in blank and think or strong and string.
3. Music A simultaneous combination of sounds not requiring resolution to another combination of sounds for finality of effect and conventionally regarded as harmonious or pleasing.


(ˈkɒnsənəns) or


n, pl -nances or -nancies
1. agreement, harmony, or accord
2. (Poetry) prosody similarity between consonants, but not between vowels, as between the s and t sounds in sweet silent thought. Compare assonance1
3. (Classical Music) music
a. an aesthetically pleasing sensation or perception associated with the interval of the octave, the perfect fourth and fifth, the major and minor third and sixth, and chords based on these intervals. Compare dissonance3
b. an interval or chord producing this sensation


(ˈkɒn sə nəns)

also con′so•nan•cy,

1. accord or agreement.
2. correspondence of sounds; harmony of sounds.
3. a simultaneous combination of musical tones conventionally accepted as being in a state of repose. Compare dissonance (def. 2).
a. a repetition of consonants, esp. those after a stressed vowel, as in march, lurch, but often of all the consonants, as in stick, stuck. Compare alliteration (def. 1).
b. the use of such repetition of consonants as a rhyming device.
[1350–1400; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin]

consonance, consonancy

agreement, consistency.
See also: Agreement
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.consonance - the repetition of consonants (or consonant patterns) especially at the ends of words
rhyme, rime - correspondence in the sounds of two or more lines (especially final sounds)
2.consonance - the property of sounding harmonious
harmony - an agreeable sound property


1. Harmonious mutual understanding:
2. Music. Pleasing agreement, as of musical sounds:


[ˈkɒnsənəns] Nconsonancia f


n (Mus) → Konsonanz f; (Poet) → Konsonantengleichklang m; (fig, of agreement, ideas) → Einklang m, → Harmonie f; (= consistency)Übereinstimmung f
References in classic literature ?
It was none of Alexander's doing, of course; those warm consonances of color had been blending and mellowing before he was born.
The teachers of harmony compare the sounds and consonances which are heard only, and their labour, like that of the astronomers, is in vain.
The study explained that the bird also favored to sing perfect consonances (octaves, perfect fifths, and perfect fourths) over imperfect consonances leading to some passages which may sound to human listeners as if they are structured around a tonal center.
In the 1550s, Vicentino and Zarlino outlined what Timothy McKinney calls the "theory of interval affect," according to which major and minor harmonic consonances measured from the lowest sounding voice may serve as tools for the expression of contrasting affects, especially in secular music.
Moreover, Wardhaugh argues that because the coincidence theory provided no clear demarcation between consonance and dissonance there was no longer any upper limit on the number of consonances available.
He practiced, perhaps invented, a form of language analogous to polyphonic music sung in pure intonation, in which linear arrangements of words form vertical consonances whose overtones, as well as fundamental meanings, are in tune" (136); "What music, specifically, may have taken Herbert to heavens door?
Now although it might appear that these developments--the first two, at least--would lead theoreticians away from the simple arithmetic (Pythagorean) explanations of consonances and dissonances and toward explanatory models grounded in audition and response, approaches of this latter sort--giving priority to listener reaction--had been in place from the very beginning: the very first quote in the book is from Descartes's Compendium musicae, where it is asserted "the goal [of music] is to please, and to arouse in us a variety of passions" (p.
Three groups of verbal effects are particularly important: alliterative consonances, complex alliterations, and a group of other figures of echo and repetition.