Examples of timbre in a Sentence
the timbre of his voice
Recent Examples of timbre from the Web
Attired in white dresses, the singers proceeded in shifting formations from one end of the tunnel to the other, emitting ethereal timbres, playing chiming percussion, and scraping rocks against the walls.
The result is a riot of tactile bursts of timbre rarely heard since laptops became electronic music’s main instruments.
Here it was played on marimba, which of course eliminated both the harpsichord’s singular timbre and its historical associations, leaving a virtuosity that was not enough.
Cartelli put Levine's initial description of her voice to the test, bearing a notably similar timbre to the original artist, 42-year-old Sia.
The two main elements the composers used were pitch and timbre.
Every detail of Eder’s articulation and timbre are rendered plain to hear, the singer giving listeners some of their closest access yet to the character of her sound.
The gentle set of Mr. Rogers’s gaze and the calming timbre of his voice brought nostalgic tears to my eyes.
Like Dizzy Gillespie using a mute to tame the timbre of his trumpet, Bloxvox promises to bring auditory order to open offices, subways, and other noisy spaces.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'timbre.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
timber and timbre
Timber and timbre are two similar-looking words that appear in very different contexts. At least most of the time.
Timber traces back to an Old English word initially meaning “house” or “building” that also came to mean “building material,” “wood,” and “trees” or “woods.” Timbers are large squared lengths of wood used for building a house or a boat. In British English, timber is also used as a synonym for lumber.
Metaphorical senses followed after centuries of the word’s use: the word used for building material became a word meaning “material” or “stuff” in general (“it’s best-seller timber”) and came also to refer to the qualities of character, experience, or intellect (“managerial timber”).
And, of course, there’s also the interjectional use of “timber!” as a cry to warn of a falling tree; the fact that most people know this despite few of them ever having deployed the word in such a situation is almost certainly due to cartoons.
Timbre is French in origin, which is apparent in its pronunciation: it is often pronounced \TAM-ber\ and, with a more French-influenced second syllable, \TAM-bruh\. The French ancestor of timbre was borrowed at three different times into English, each time with a different meaning, each time reflecting the evolution that the word had made in French.
The first two meanings timbre had in English (it referred to a kind of drum and to the crest on a coat of arms) are now too obscure for entry in this dictionary, but its third meaning survives. Timbre in modern English generally refers to the quality of a sound made by a particular voice or musical instrument; timbre is useful in being distinct from pitch, intensity, and loudness as a descriptor of sound.
But because English is rarely simple about such things, we have also these facts: timber is listed as a variant spelling of timbre. And timbre may also be correctly pronounced just like timber as \TIM-ber\. And the spelling of timber was unsettled for many years; it was sometimes spelled tymmer, tymber, and, yes, timbre. The messy overlapping of these similar words is coincidental: the consequence of the intersection of the different cultures and languages that left their traces on English.
TIMBRE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of timbre for English Language Learners
: the quality of the sound made by a particular voice or musical instrument
medical Definition of timbre
timbralplay \ˈtam-brəl, ˈtim-\ adjective
Seen and Heard
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