overtone

noun
over·​tone | \ ˈō-vər-ˌtōn How to pronounce overtone (audio) \

Definition of overtone

1a : one of the higher tones produced simultaneously with the fundamental and that with the fundamental comprise a complex musical tone : harmonic sense 1a
2 : the color of the light reflected (as by a paint)
3 : a secondary effect, quality, or meaning : suggestion, connotation

Examples of overtone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Uber and Lyft have overtones of the wacky days of the dot-com bubble, when sketchy business plans and big losses were an active selling point. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Uber Has Poisoned an IPO Market That Was Sick Anyway," 14 May 2019 But on Tuesday, the blatantly racist overtones of Barr's tweet targeting Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett were undeniable. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "Inside Roseanne Barr’s history of offensive tweets," 29 May 2018 Listeners scared off by such a move will miss its overtones, which radiate gradually like a rising sun’s auras. Larry Blumenfeld, WSJ, "‘Igbó Alákorin (The Singer’s Grove), Vol. I & II’ by David Virelles and ‘Pillars’ by Tyshawn Sorey Reviews," 29 Oct. 2018 The issue has political, social and geographical overtones. Fox News, "Romanian or Russian? A geopolitical issue in Moldova," 27 Aug. 2018 Spruce is a stiff, light-weight, bright sounding wood with complex harmonic overtones and robust sound projection. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, "Fender's 'Acoustasonic' Is a True Acoustic-Electric Hybrid Guitar," 22 Jan. 2019 Steinberg responded by stating that his proposal didn't have racial overtones, since crime affects people of all backgrounds. John Greenfield, Chicago Reader, "Putting the neighborhood watch on watch," 18 Jan. 2018 And their rivalry, complete with class overtones, is more than a century old. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "South America’s Soccer Final Postponed for Second Time," 25 Nov. 2018 Many cultivars are available with different nuances of taste, size, and appearance, including cultivars with cinnamon, clove, lemon, and lime overtones, as well as purple-leaved types such as Dark Opal and Red Rubin. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Basil for Your Best Pesto Yet," 20 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overtone.' 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 overtone

1867, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Dictionary Entries near overtone

overtired

overtly

overtoil

overtone

overtop

overtrade

overtrain

Statistics for overtone

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overtone

The first known use of overtone was in 1867

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More Definitions for overtone

overtone

noun

English Language Learners Definition of overtone

: an idea or quality that is suggested without being said directly
: a very small amount of something
music : a higher tone that is part of the sound of a musical note

overtone

noun
over·​tone | \ ˈō-vər-ˌtōn How to pronounce overtone (audio) \

Medical Definition of overtone

: one of the higher tones produced simultaneously with the fundamental and that with the fundamental comprise a complex musical tone

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More from Merriam-Webster on overtone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overtone

Spanish Central: Translation of overtone

Nglish: Translation of overtone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about overtone

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