undertone

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un·der·tone

 (ŭn′dər-tōn′)
n.
1. An underlying or implied tendency or meaning; an undercurrent.
2. A tone of low pitch or volume, especially of spoken sound.
3.
a. A pale or subdued color.
b. A color applied under or seen through another color.

undertone

(ˈʌndəˌtəʊn)
n
1. a quiet or hushed tone of voice
2. an underlying tone or suggestion in words or actions: his offer has undertones of dishonesty.
3. (Colours) a pale or subdued colour

un•der•tone

(ˈʌn dərˌtoʊn)

n.
1. a low or subdued tone: to speak in undertones.
2. an unobtrusive or background sound.
3. an underlying quality or element; undercurrent: an undertone of regret in his voice.
4. a subdued color; a color modified by an underlying color.
[1800]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.undertone - a quiet or hushed tone of voiceundertone - a quiet or hushed tone of voice; "spoke in undertones"
tone, tone of voice - the quality of a person's voice; "he began in a conversational tone"; "he spoke in a nervous tone of voice"
2.undertone - a subdued emotional quality underlying an utteranceundertone - a subdued emotional quality underlying an utterance; implicit meaning
meaning, substance - the idea that is intended; "What is the meaning of this proverb?"
3.undertone - a pale or subdued colorundertone - a pale or subdued color    
tint, shade, tincture, tone - a quality of a given color that differs slightly from another color; "after several trials he mixed the shade of pink that she wanted"

undertone

noun
1. murmur, whisper, low tone, subdued voice Well-dressed clients were talking in polite undertones as they ate.
2. undercurrent, suggestion, trace, hint, feeling, touch, atmosphere, flavour, tinge, vibes (slang) The sobbing voice had an undertone of anger.

undertone

noun
A subtle quality underlying or felt to underlie a situation, action, or person:
Translations

undertone

[ˈʌndətəʊn] N
1. (= low voice) → voz f baja
2. (= suggestion, hint) → matiz m; [of criticism] → trasfondo m
3. [of perfume, taste, colour] → matiz m

undertone

[ˈʌndərtəʊn] n
(= low voice) in an undertone → à mi-voix

undertone

[ˈʌndəˌtəʊn] n
a. (low voice) → tono sommesso
in an undertone → a mezza voce, sottovoce, a voce bassa
b. undertones npl (comic, religious) → sfumature fpl
References in classic literature ?
While they were talking in undertones the crack of a shot sounded from the low ground by the pond, a puff of white smoke appeared, then another, and the sound of hundreds of seemingly merry French voices shouting together came up from the slope.
For two vast days we struggled in undertones and wrestling contests.
There is not an excess of delicacy or chivalry in the ordinary country school, and several choice conundrums and bits of verse dealing with the Simpson affair were bandied about among the scholars, uttered always, be it said to their credit, in undertones, and when the Simpson children were not in the group.
His answer, spoken in his usual dis passionate undertone, made it clear that it was so, but not precisely as flattering as I supposed.
It was this profound and continual undertone that gave the clergyman his most appropriate power.
And Stephen purchased absolutely nothing from Maggie, until Lucy said, in rather a vexed undertone,--
he soliloquised in an undertone of peevish displeasure, while relieving me of my horse: looking, meantime, in my face so sourly that I charitably conjectured he must have need of divine aid to digest his dinner, and his pious ejaculation had no reference to my unexpected advent.
And he added in an undertone to the Queen, `Really, my dear, YOU must cross-examine the next witness.
Miss Morstan and I chatted in an undertone about our present expedition and its possible outcome, but our companion maintained his impenetrable reserve until the end of our journey.
Cadwallader in an undertone, seeing the gentlemen enter.
said Joe, adding in an undertone as he approached him again, 'You'll come in for it presently, I know you will
She even stroked it a little, fondly, with the other hand, murmuring in an undertone, "Pauvre cherie.