Definitions for overtoneˈoʊ vərˌtoʊn

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word overtone

Princeton's WordNet

  1. overtone(noun)

    (usually plural) an ulterior implicit meaning or quality

    "overtones of despair"

  2. overtone, partial, partial tone(noun)

    a harmonic with a frequency that is a multiple of the fundamental frequency


  1. overtone(Noun)

    A tone whose frequency is an integer multiple of another; a harmonic

  2. overtone(Noun)

    An implicit meaning, as opposed to a hidden meaning or undertone.

  3. Origin: over + tone, from Oberton.


  1. Overtone

    An overtone is any frequency higher than the fundamental frequency of a sound. The fundamental and the overtones together are called partials. Harmonics are partials whose frequencies are integer multiples of the fundamental. These overlapping terms are variously used when discussing the acoustic behavior of musical instruments. When a resonant system such as a blown pipe or plucked string is excited, a number of overtones may be produced along with the fundamental tone. In simple cases, such as for most musical instruments, the frequencies of these tones are the same as the harmonics. An example of an exception is a circular drum, whose first overtone is about 1.6 times its fundamental resonance frequency. The human vocal tract is able to produce a highly variable structure of overtones, called formants, which define different vowels.

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