Cacophony is a literary device that refers to the use of harsh, discordant, or jarring sounds in language, often for artistic effect. It involves intentionally using words or phrases that create a harsh or grating sound when spoken, such as words with harsh consonants, repeated syllables, or unusual combinations of sounds. Cacophony can create a sense of chaos, conflict, or discomfort in the language, and is often used to evoke a particular emotion or tone in a literary work.

Examples of cacophony:

“The buzzing of the bees / In the crackling of the trees” – The repeated “z” and “c” sounds in this line from Emily Dickinson’s poem “Summer Shower” create a discordant and uncomfortable effect, emphasizing the chaotic and unpredictable nature of the natural world.

2 thoughts on “Cacophony”

  1. Is there a term for a word that reflects its meaning when written or spoken? Cacophony is a noisy spoken word that means noisy, while ostentatious is showy word that means showy.

    1. That sounds close to being a Onomatopoeia term… which means that the word itself is the sound it makes i.e. boom, bang, whack, smack, click, tumble

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