Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
the characteristic quality of a sound: The timbre of his voice was unique.
Not to be confused with:
timber – wood, especially when suitable for building purposes: Stack the timber next to the house.
1. The combination of qualities of a sound that distinguishes it from other sounds of the same pitch and volume.
2. Distinctive character: the timbre of the painter's work.
[French, from Old French, drum, clapperless bell, probably from Medieval Greek *timbanon, drum, from Greek tumpanon, kettledrum.]
timbre(ˈtɪmbə; ˈtæmbə; French tɛ̃brə)
1. (Phonetics & Phonology) phonetics the distinctive tone quality differentiating one vowel or sonant from another
2. (Music, other) music tone colour or quality of sound, esp a specific type of tone colour
[C19: from French: note of a bell, from Old French: drum, from Medieval Greek timbanon, from Greek tumpanon drum]
tim•bre(ˈtæm bər, ˈtɪm-; Fr. ˈtɛ̃ brə)
1. the characteristic quality of a sound, independent of pitch and loudness, depending on the number and relative strengths of its component frequencies, as determined by resonance.
2. the characteristic quality of sound produced by a particular instrument or voice; tone color.
[1325–75; Middle English tymbre < French: sound (orig. of bell), Middle French: bell, timbrel, drum, Old French: drum « Medieval Greek tímbanon, variant of Greek týmpanon drum]
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||timbre - (music) the distinctive property of a complex sound (a voice or noise or musical sound); "the timbre of her soprano was rich and lovely"; "the muffled tones of the broken bell summoned them to meet"|
sound property - an attribute of sound
harmonic - any of a series of musical tones whose frequencies are integral multiples of the frequency of a fundamental
resonance - the quality imparted to voiced speech sounds by the action of the resonating chambers of the throat and mouth and nasal cavities
coloration, colouration, color, colour - the timbre of a musical sound; "the recording fails to capture the true color of the original music"
nasality - a quality of the voice that is produced by nasal resonators
plangency, reverberance, sonority, sonorousness, vibrancy, ringing, resonance - having the character of a loud deep sound; the quality of being resonant
register - (music) the timbre that is characteristic of a certain range and manner of production of the human voice or of different pipe organ stops or of different musical instruments
music - an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner