Music. the range and number of partials present in a tone of a specific instrument, representing its timbre.
Acoustic Phonetics. one of the regions of concentration of energy, prominent on a sound spectrogram, that collectively constitute the frequency spectrum of a speech sound. The relative positioning of the first and second formants, whether periodic or aperiodic, as of the o of hope at approximately 500 and 900 cycles per second, is usually sufficient to distinguish a sound from all others.
(acoustics, phonetics) any of several frequency ranges within which the partials of a sound, esp a vowel sound, are at their strongest, thus imparting to the sound its own special quality, tone colour, or timbre