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 of undertone from the Web
The use of such grandiose language to describe the mundanity of the characters’ lives creates a comical undertone punctuated by hyperbole.
Even when he is mugged or breaks up with his girlfriend, the surface of incident is less important than the underlying, ineffable undertones of destiny and character.
A slow-burn serving of eco-horror, Lorcan Finnegan’s feature skimps on substance, but more than makes up for it with eerie settings, supernatural undertones and a ’70s horror throwback vibe.
And though Christine Bunuan plays Sister Chang's smiling malevolence to the hilt, there is an uncomfortable undertone of dragon lady cliche to the character as written.
No investigation was being opened against Social Cohesion Minister Richard Ferrand for business practices that carried undertones of potential conflicts of interest.
Why: The newest HBO drama from Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof asks a question with apparent religious undertones: What if the Rapture really happened?
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
UNDERTONE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of undertone for English Language Learners
: a low or quiet voice
: a quality, meaning, etc., that is present but not clear or obvious
: a color that you can see in small amounts
UNDERTONE Defined for Kids
Definition of undertone for Students
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.
Seen and Heard
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