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timbre

[ tam-ber, tim-; French tan-bruh ]
/ ˈtæm bər, ˈtɪm-; French ˈtɛ̃ brə /
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noun
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.
characteristic tone of expression: the masterful rhythm and timbre of his writing.
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Origin of timbre

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English tymbre, from Middle French “clapperless bell, bell rung by a hammer,” from Old French “small drum, drum,” from Latin tympanum “timbrel, drum,” from Greek týmpanon “timbrel, kettledrum, drum”

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH timbre

timber, timbre
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use timbre in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for timbre

timbre
/ (ˈtɪmbə, ˈtæmbə, French tɛ̃brə) /

noun
phonetics the distinctive tone quality differentiating one vowel or sonant from another
music tone colour or quality of sound, esp a specific type of tone colour

Word Origin for timbre

C19: from French: note of a bell, from Old French: drum, from Medieval Greek timbanon, from Greek tumpanon drum
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
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