har·​mon·​ic | \ här-ˈmä-nik How to pronounce harmonic (audio) \

Definition of harmonic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : musical
2 : of or relating to musical harmony or a harmonic
3 : pleasing to the ear : harmonious
4 : of an integrated nature : congruous



Definition of harmonic (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : overtone especially : one whose vibration frequency is an integral multiple of that of the fundamental
b : a flutelike tone produced on a stringed instrument by touching a vibrating string at a nodal point
2 : a component frequency of a complex wave (as of electromagnetic energy) that is an integral multiple of the fundamental frequency

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Other Words from harmonic


harmonically \ här-​ˈmä-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce harmonic (audio) \ adverb

Examples of harmonic in a Sentence

Adjective the desire to live the kind of harmonic life in which work and family are perfectly balanced
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But within their limits Bach introduces beginning players to some sophisticated elements of music, including daring harmonic modulations. New York Times, 14 May 2021 His harmonic sense had few equals, notably in his arrangements for the World Saxophone Quartet, which flicker with svelte dissonances that hover at the edge of atonality. Adam Shatz, The New York Review of Books, 11 May 2021 Such themes and their associated aesthetics—gray-day vibes, harmonic in-betweenness, psycho-thriller strings—can create a powerful sense of intrigue. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 11 May 2021 There are book clubs, photography groups, politics discussions, global affairs chats, career guidance rooms, music rooms, NFT discussions, and digital harmonic beats. Julie Charnet, Wired, 3 May 2021 The new mixes also regularly boost the lower register, at times elevating Voormann’s bass parts as if they were intended as counterpoint instead of a solid, unassuming harmonic foundation. New York Times, 21 Apr. 2021 The boy would eventually master the harmonic riddles and complex button controls of the bandoneón — and, upon his return to Argentina, deploy it as a potent weapon in a cultural insurgency. Los Angeles Times, 15 Apr. 2021 After wandering through far-flung harmonic territory, under a veneer of tinkling percussion, the chords finally resolve, unleashing a wave of contentment. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, 26 Mar. 2021 At the time, John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, and others were breaking from traditional approaches to rhythm and harmonic structure. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 22 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But on the high-performance 289 the fourth harmonic comes within its 7000-rpm range, so the vibration damper developed for the Indianapolis engine, with enlarged rubber contact areas and tuned for higher crankshaft speeds, was adapted. Car and Driver, 17 Apr. 2020 In true Gordon style, the music tends violently percussive and extreme, relentless in its industrial repetitions, but with stark exceptions: a section of glassy harmonics, another of keening, drooping melancholy gestures. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, 14 Feb. 2020 Trojahn’s orchestral writing is similarly fluent: the pacing is confident, the coloristic contrasts intelligent, and there are some beguiling textures; a diaphanous web of harp and stratospheric string harmonics early in the opera was breathtaking. Matthew Aucoin, The New York Review of Books, 7 Dec. 2019 The adaptive dampers prevent unwanted harmonics even when dealing with gnarly surfaces at inappropriate speeds. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 10 Feb. 2020 The business end has lots of interchangeable options, too, including a fiber optic bead, a tunnel sight, and a muzzle brake that is said to improve accuracy by altering barrel harmonics. Joseph Albanese, Field & Stream, 28 Feb. 2020 Note the high harmonics and current out of sync: 3DFS Here’s the interface with SDE turned on. David Roberts, Vox, 5 June 2018 Wade is a singer, song-crafter and guitarist whose sultry voice and back-up acoustic band bring a fresh interpretation to Americana, Bluegrass and Blues through brilliant vocal arrangements and harmonics. courant.com, 15 Nov. 2019 This meditative piece worked best when the mood was quiet and undulating, especially in the passage in high harmonics near the end, so otherworldly in sound, almost like a theremin. Washington Post, 23 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'harmonic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of harmonic


1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1777, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for harmonic

Time Traveler

The first known use of harmonic was in 1570

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Statistics for harmonic

Last Updated

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Harmonic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harmonic. Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for harmonic



English Language Learners Definition of harmonic

technical : of or relating to musical harmony rather than melody or rhythm


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