Music. the range and number of partials present in a tone of a specific instrument, representing its timbre.
2. Acoustic Phonetics.
one of the regions of concentration of energy, prominent on a sound
spectrogram, that collectively constitute the frequency spectrum of a speech sound. The relative positioning of the first and second formants, whether periodic or aperiodic, as of the o
at approximately 500 and 900 cycles per second, is usually sufficient to distinguish a sound from all others.
< Latin formant-
(stem of formāns
), present participle of formāre
; see -ant