undertone

noun
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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The name evokes deep ocean waters; the hue is a deep blue with green undertones. Elizabeth Mayhew, Twin Cities, "Surfboard Yellow, Gentleman’s Gray, Mizzle: How do paint companies name their hues?," 6 July 2019 The name evokes deep ocean waters; the hue is a deep blue with green undertones. Elizabeth Mayhew, Washington Post, "Surfboard Yellow, Gentleman’s Gray, Mizzle: How do paint companies name their hues?," 25 June 2019 So some people have eschewed that word in favor of alternatives with more respectable undertones. Time, "Was Stonewall a Riot, an Uprising or a Rebellion?," 24 June 2019 For olive and dark skin tones, pick a bronzer with orange undertones. Audrey Noble, Harper's BAZAAR, "Here's Exactly How You Should Apply Bronzer," 30 Jan. 2019 To pull off the shade yourself, Sir John suggests using a red with orange undertones and keeping your complexion neutral-toned and glowing. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "How to Get Mary J. Blige’s Perfect Red Lipstick," 8 Feb. 2018 To ensure that my silver streaks would be steely, not swampy, Marcy did a pre-tone to neutralize any yellow or green undertones before going in with a second application of purple toner to seal the deal. Karina Hoshikawa, Allure, "I Just Got Gray Highlights, and Now I Love My Hair More Than Ever," 10 Apr. 2019 Perhaps there’s a more feminist undertone at play as well. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The Fall Runways Are Full of Bewitching Clothes, So Let’s Explore Fashion’s Obsession With Horror," 27 Mar. 2019 Living Coral, also known as Pantone 16-1546, is a warm, peachy orange with a life-affirming golden undertone. Hannah Morrill, ELLE Decor, "Pantone Just Released Their Color of the Year for 2019," 5 Dec. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of undertone

1806, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for undertone

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for undertone

The first known use of undertone was in 1806

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More Definitions for undertone

undertone

noun

English Language Learners Definition of undertone

: 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

noun
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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on undertone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with undertone

Spanish Central: Translation of undertone

Nglish: Translation of undertone for Spanish Speakers

Comments on undertone

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