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har·​mon·​ic här-ˈmä-nik How to pronounce harmonic (audio)
: of or relating to musical harmony or a harmonic
: pleasing to the ear : harmonious
: of an integrated nature : congruous
harmonically adverb


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

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
Blair’s harmonic language and the almost ritualistic structural simplicity of his treatment of Neruda’s text were effective and moving. Luke Schulze, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Apr. 2024 The control system’s response—repeatedly opening and closing steam valves—created a 200-megawatt fluctuation in power output that propagated harmonic feedback across the Eastern Interconnection, North America’s eastern grid. IEEE Spectrum, 14 Feb. 2024 After a while, these kind of harmonic tones really start to sound a little bit like electronic tones. Todd Gilchrist, Variety, 15 Mar. 2024 His harmonic intelligence was profound; his touch on the keys was exquisitely sensitive. James Kaplan, The Atlantic, 6 Mar. 2024 Pedal assist is driven by a TQ harmonic pin ring motor that’s light, compact, whisper-quiet, and has enough power to reach speeds of 28 miles per hour. Nathan Borchelt, Travel + Leisure, 16 Feb. 2024 However, turf pros, architects and builders are acutely aware of how everything above, under and around the golf course –all the environmental and man-made elements – needs to be in harmonic balance. Candace Oehler, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 Sure enough, the taco was extra warm and yielding, and the flavors—the flour and the char, the faint and sweet minerality of the potato, the spice and fat of the chorizo—all blurred together, a perfect harmonic chord. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 4 Feb. 2024 He was intrigued by the fact that the three auditory sensations associated with music—namely, pitch, loudness, and timbre—had counterparts in electronics—namely, frequency, amplitude, and the harmonic spectrum obtained by Fourier analysis. IEEE Spectrum, 1 Feb. 2024
McDermott herself makes her piano chime at times in the piece, while the strings employ harmonics, minor seconds, pizzicato in music that moves between a sense of awe and feeling of danger. Sheila Regan, Twin Cities, 5 Apr. 2024 Andrew encouraged me to play this little harmonic, acoustic part almost like a Cure melody. Jonathan Cohen, SPIN, 19 Mar. 2024 So, all the concern at a volcano/caldera whenever any harmonic tremor is detected is definitely jumping the gun to say the least. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 18 Oct. 2010 The harmonics of the saxophone concentrate around similar frequencies as the human voice. Chris Almeida, The New Yorker, 6 Jan. 2024 There’s something singularly sweet in the chords, in the lilt of it all, in the way that the chorus creates an elemental harmonic rush of heart-and-soul satisfaction. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 29 Jan. 2024 The whimsical, bristling pizzicato-fest of the third movement scherzo would tickle any ASMR enthusiast — the dynamic gales blowing through the orchestra lifted harmonic swells to unexpected heights. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2023 Advertisement The adagio, with pulsating string textures and grinding suspensions over dutiful baroque harmonic sequences leads into an aggressive, if academic, fugue. Luke Schulze, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Oct. 2023 Elliott’s playing is both muscular and refined; his delicate astral harmonics at the outset sang out an important early starting point. Luke Shulze, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'harmonic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1777, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of harmonic was in 1570

Dictionary Entries Near harmonic

Cite this Entry

“Harmonic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harmonic. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
har·​mon·​ic här-ˈmän-ik How to pronounce harmonic (audio)
: of or relating to musical harmony as opposed to melody or rhythm
harmonically adverb


2 of 2 noun

More from Merriam-Webster on harmonic

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