un·​der·​tone | \ ˈən-dər-ˌtōn How to pronounce undertone (audio) \

Definition of undertone

1 : a low or subdued utterance or accompanying sound
2 : a quality (as of emotion) underlying the surface of an utterance or action
3 : a subdued color specifically : a color seen through and modifying another color

Examples of undertone in a Sentence

She commented in an undertone that the music was really not very good. The play is a comedy with dark undertones. The fabric is a rich brown color with undertones of red.
Recent Examples on the Web For that reason, pay attention to the undertone of your blue cabinet paint color and compare it to the finishes and fixtures in your kitchen before giving your final stamp of approval. Patricia Shannon, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 Aug. 2022 For tan and olive skin, browns with a reddish undertone will complement your complexion best. Abby Dupes, Seventeen, 5 Aug. 2022 McCormick suggested a warmer gray with a beige undertone or pairing gray with black or other colors to bring warmth to a space. Kaitlyn Keegan, Hartford Courant, 28 July 2022 The retro collection, with an unmissable tropical undertone, is inspired by the colorful coastline of Careyes — a bohemian paradise known for its dramatic, brightly hued ocean castles perched along the pacific coast of the Mexican Riviera. Angela Lei, Forbes, 16 May 2022 Undertone Being able to identify the undertone of your skin is a tough job, but an important step in narrowing down the shade of drops that is right for you. Alyssa Brascia, Peoplemag, 24 Aug. 2022 Logan, whose virtuosity with oil stick and pastel on paper has few peers, makes extravagantly lush, verdant images of blooming vitality laced with an undertone of dread. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 15 June 2022 Mixing a specific shade of brown can be complex as some browns lean warmer and others cool, while some brown colors have a red, yellow, or green undertone. Maria Sabella, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 June 2022 And of course, the beautiful, slightly isolating and sometimes terrifying undertone of rural Australia where things were mostly quiet and unassuming but can turn really dark at any moment. John Hopewell, Variety, 19 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of undertone

1806, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of undertone was in 1806

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Undertone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undertone. Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for undertone


un·​der·​tone | \ ˈən-dər-ˌtōn How to pronounce undertone (audio) \

Kids Definition of undertone

1 : a low or quiet voice They spoke in undertones.
2 : a partly hidden feeling or meaning There was an undertone of anger in the answer.

More from Merriam-Webster on undertone

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for undertone

Nglish: Translation of undertone for Spanish Speakers


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