(often pl) additional meaning or nuance overtones of despair
(music, acoustics) any of the tones, with the exception of the fundamental, that constitute a musical sound and contribute to its quality, each having a frequency that is a multiple of the fundamental frequency See also harmonic (sense 7), partial (sense 6)
1867, in literal sense, from over + tone; a loan-translation of Ger. Oberton, first used by Ger. physicist Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (1821-94) as a contraction of Overpartialton "upper partial tone." Fig. sense of "subtle implication" is from 1890, first attested in writings of William James.