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Coined 1531 by Sir Thomas Elyot in his treatise, The Boke Named The Governor,[1] from Latin concinnitās (skillfully put together).


concinnity (countable and uncountable, plural concinnities)

  1. (music) The harmonious reinforcement of the various parts of a work of art.
    • 1815, William Kirby, William Spence, “Preface”, in An Introduction to Entomology: Or Elements of the Natural History of Insects: with Plates[1], 3rd edition, volume 1, London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, published 1818, page xii:
      In the Terminology, or what, to avoid the barbarism of a word compounded of Latin and Greek, they would beg to call the Orismology of the science, they have endeavoured to introduce throughout a greater degree of precision and concinnity—dividing it into general and partial Orismology; []

Usage notes[edit]

Although the concept of concinnity can apply to any object or situation, it is most commonly used in the discussion of music.



  1. ^ Henry Hitchings, The Secret Life of Words