How to Pronounce Cacophony

Cacophony (kə-ˈkä-fə-nē) is the harsh sounding of words. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to pronounce cacophony and give you some examples of how to use it in a sentence.

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Cacophony (kækˈəfəni) is the use of harsh, discordant, and inharmonious sounds in poetry or prose. It is the opposite of euphony. Cacophony is often used to create a feeling of unease or to represent emotionally charged speech.

What is cacophony?

Cacophony (pronounced ka-KAW-fuh-nee) is a word that describes when two or more sounds clash together to create a harsh, discordant effect. It’s the opposite of euphony, which is when two or more sounds flow together to create a pleasant, harmonious effect.

The word cacophony comes from the Greek word κακοφωνία (kakophōnia), which combines the words κακός (kakós), meaning “bad,” and φωνή (phōnē), meaning “sound.” In English, cacophony has been used since the mid-17th century.

Examples of Cacophony in Everyday Speech
While cacophony is often thought of as a literary device, it also occurs in everyday speech. For example:
The sound of fingernails scraping on a chalkboard is an example of cacophony.
The sound of nails on a chalkboard is an example of cacophony.
The sound of two people arguing loudly is an example of cacophony.

The history of the word

The word cacophony comes to us from the Greek word κακοφωνία, which is made up of κακός (kakos), meaning “bad,” “ill,” or “evil”; and φωνή (phone), meaning “voice” or “sound.” It first appears in English in the early 17th century.

Pronouncing cacophony

Cacophony (kuh-KOF-uh-nee) is a literary device that refers to the use of harsh, discordant sounds for a dramatic or poetic effect. This effect can be created through the use of words with sharp, hard consonants or through the use of multiple competing sounds.

Tips for correctly pronouncing cacophony

Because cacophony has many syllables, it can be difficult to pronounce for English speakers. The following tips will help you say it correctly:

-Break the word down into syllables: ca-coph-o-ny
-Stress the second syllable: CA-coph-o-ny
-Say the word slowly and clearly

If you Practice saying cacophony out loud, you’ll be able to get the hang of it in no time!

Common mistakes

Cacophony (noun) \kə-ˈkä-fə-nē\

What does cacophony mean?

: harsh or discordant sound : dissonance
: a harsh and unpleasant mixture of sounds

Examples of cacophony in a sentence

1. ” summer evenings … are alive with the cacophony of cicadas.” — Natalie Angier, The New York Times, 13 July 1992
2. “For all the pleasing visual images and musical cacophonies, this is essentially a dance show.” — Edward Rothstein, New York Times, 8 Dec. 1988
3. ” … a verbal cacophony rivaled only by that of the United Nations General Assembly.” — Barbara Tuchman, The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam, 1984
4. ” chaos and cacophonies reign during rush hours …” — Jeanette Ippolito, Washington Post, 20 Apr. 1986
5. “… her life has been one long fight against the forces of order and calm and silence and sanity.” — William Golding, Free Fall, 1959
6. “An incessant babble of voices rose from every table like a sustained blowing of horns and transmuted into one grand organ chord that hovered about the heads of the guests like an invisible cloud.” — Booth Tarkington, Penrod’s Endings, 1916


Cacophony (noun): a harsh, discordant sound; a jarring, discordant mix of noises.

That’s it! You now know how to pronounce cacophony.