- 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.
Origin of timbre
Related Wordsinflection, accent, resonance, intonation, tonality, overtone, tone, beat, character, quality, mood, pitch, miter
Examples from the Web for timbre
He has a voice not dissimilar in timbre and penetrative ability to the incredibly annoying comedian Stephen Merchant.The Addictive Curse of ‘Let’s Plays’
November 11, 2014
The power, timbre, and range of her voice made her performance the best part of the night.I'm Not Country or Pop. I'm Just Pure Garth Brooks.
September 10, 2014
The cat ceased snarling and presently began a loud purring which seemed to increase in timbre as he stroked her.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
You can see this poetry realized in the timbre and pace of the “mad as hell” speech.Paddy Chayefsky: The Dark Prophet of ‘Network’ News
February 16, 2014
Each of the clones behaves in her own unique way, each with her own distinctive body language, timbre, and sensibilities.Emmy Awards’ Dark Horse Nominee: Tatiana Maslany of ‘Orphan Black’
June 12, 2013
She thought, she began to think, that even the timbre of his voice was Sicilian.The Call of the Blood
Robert Smythe Hichens
Her voice was deep and had the timbre of some old bronze bell.Greener Than You Think
The timbre of her voice—the deadly coldness of it—made him start.The Fighting Shepherdess
Even Tim blanched; for in the voice he recognized the timbre of insanity.Where the Souls of Men are Calling
From the timbre of that cry he knew it never came from a human throat.Beyond the Black River
Robert E. Howard
- 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 and History for timbre
"characteristic quality of a musical sound," 1849, from French timbre "quality of a sound," earlier "sound of a bell," from Old French, "bell without a clapper," originally "drum," probably via Medieval Greek *timbanon, from Greek tympanon "kettledrum" (see tympanum). Timbre was used in Old French (13c.) and Middle English (14c.) to render Latin tympanum in Ps. 150.