harmonic

[ hahr-mon-ik ]
/ hɑrˈmɒn ɪk /

adjective

pertaining to harmony, as distinguished from melody and rhythm.
marked by harmony; in harmony; concordant; consonant.
Physics. of, relating to, or noting a series of oscillations in which each oscillation has a frequency that is an integral multiple of the same basic frequency.
Mathematics.
  1. (of a set of values) related in a manner analogous to the frequencies of tones that are consonant.
  2. capable of being represented by sine and cosine functions.
  3. (of a function) satisfying the Laplace equation.

noun

Physics. a single oscillation whose frequency is an integral multiple of the fundamental frequency.

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Origin of harmonic

1560–70; < Latin harmonicus < Greek harmonikós musical, suitable. See harmony, -ic

OTHER WORDS FROM harmonic

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for harmonic

British Dictionary definitions for harmonic

harmonic
/ (hɑːˈmɒnɪk) /

adjective

noun

physics music a component of a periodic quantity, such as a musical tone, with a frequency that is an integral multiple of the fundamental frequency. The first harmonic is the fundamental, the second harmonic (twice the fundamental frequency) is the first overtone, the third harmonic (three times the fundamental frequency) is the second overtone, etc
music (not in technical use) overtone: in this case, the first overtone is the first harmonic, etc
See also harmonics

Derived forms of harmonic

harmonically, adverb

Word Origin for harmonic

C16: from Latin harmonicus relating to harmony
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

Scientific definitions for harmonic

harmonic
[ här-mŏnĭk ]

Noun

Periodic motion whose frequency is a whole-number multiple of some fundamental frequency. The motion of objects or substances that vibrate or oscillate in a regular fashion, such as the strings of musical instruments, can be analyzed as a combination of a fundamental frequency and higher harmonics.♦ Harmonics above the first harmonic (the fundamental frequency) in sound waves are called overtones. The first overtone is the second harmonic, the second overtone is the third harmonic, and so on.

Adjective

Related to or having the properties of such periodic motion.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.