- any of the attendant higher tones heard with a fundamental tone produced by the vibration of a given string or column of air, having a frequency of vibration that is an exact multiple of the frequency of the fundamental
- an implication; nuance: usually used in pl.: a reply full of overtones
Origin of overtonetranslated, translation of German oberton, contr. from oberpartialton, upper partial tone
- An ulterior, usually implicit meaning or quality; an implication or a hint: an overtone of anger barely masked; praise with overtones of envy.
- See harmonic.