[tam-ber, tim-; French tan-bruh]
Acoustics, Phonetics. the characteristic quality of a sound, independent of pitch and loudness, from which its source or manner of production can be inferred. Timbre depends on the relative strengths of the components of different frequencies, which are determined by resonance.
Music. the characteristic quality of sound produced by a particular instrument or voice; tone color.

1325–75; Middle English tymbre < French: sound (orig. of bell), Middle French: bell, timbrel, drum, Old French: drum < Medieval Greek tímbanon, variant of Greek týmpanon drum

timber, timbre.
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World English Dictionary
timbre (ˈtɪmbə, ˈtæmbə, French tɛ̃brə)
1.  phonetics the distinctive tone quality differentiating one vowel or sonant from another
2.  music tone colour or quality of sound, esp a specific type of tone colour
[C19: from French: note of a bell, from Old French: drum, from Medieval Greek timbanon, from Greek tumpanon drum]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"characteristic quality of a musical sound," 1849, from Fr. timbre "quality of a sound," earlier "sound of a bell," from O.Fr., "bell without a clapper," originally "drum," probably via Medieval Gk. *timbanon, from Gk. tympanon "kettledrum" (see tympanum). Timbre was used
in O.Fr. (13c.) and M.E. (14c.) to render L. tympanum in Ps. 150.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It's the language, not the tone or timbre of your voice, that provides the
  identifying information.
The subtlest reason that pop music is so flavorful to our brains is that it
  relies so strongly on timbre.
It's not the accent so much as the timbre of the voice.
Your albums suggest you are a listener who pays special attention to timbre.
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