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overtone

[oh-ver-tohn] /ˈoʊ vərˌtoʊn/
noun
1.
Music. an acoustical frequency that is higher in frequency than the fundamental.
2.
an additional, usually subsidiary and implicit meaning or quality:
an aesthetic theory with definite political overtones.
Origin
1865-1870
1865-70; translation of German Oberton. See over-, tone
Synonyms
2. insinuation, suggestion, intimation, hint.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for overtone
  • And he has drawn a symbolic parallel which has significant implication and overtone.
  • Harmonically, instruments are constrained by overtone reverberations and a fixed scale.
  • The middle note comes from much higher in the overtone series.
  • There was an ugly overtone to the events today that was not present yesterday.
  • The fact that these sections are tapered so greatly changes the acoustics of the so-called cylindrical overtone series.
  • Frequency estimated from an overtone or a combination tone indicated in the parentheses.
  • The soft pulp is juicy and sweet, although it can sometimes has an acid overtone.
  • Covers the region of overtone vibrations and has many applications, including biological and medical imaging.
British Dictionary definitions for overtone

overtone

/ˈəʊvəˌtəʊn/
noun
1.
(often pl) additional meaning or nuance: overtones of despair
2.
(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)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for overtone
n.

1867, in literal sense, from over + tone (n.); a loan-translation of German Oberton, first used by German physicist Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (1821-1894) as a contraction of Overpartialton "upper partial tone." Figurative sense of "subtle implication" is from 1890, first attested in writings of William James.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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overtone in Science
overtone
  (ō'vər-tōn')   
See under harmonic.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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11
13
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