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 ?
His cool, neg ligent undertone had no inflexions, but the strength of a powerful emotion made him ramble in his speech.
Now she caught the low undertone, as of the wind sinking down to repose itself; then ascended with it, as it rose through progressive gradations of sweetness and power, until its volume seemed to envelop her with an atmosphere of awe and solemn grandeur.
And Stephen purchased absolutely nothing from Maggie, until Lucy said, in rather a vexed undertone,--
`Call the next witness.' And he added in an undertone to the Queen, `Really, my dear, YOU must cross-examine the next witness.
The latter, without making any resistance, said, in an undertone:
They sat side by side and chattered to one another, with smothered laughter: now and then they glanced at Philip and one of them said something in an undertone; they both giggled, and Philip blushed awkwardly, feeling that they were making fun of him.
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.
'What do you mean?' 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."
Robin could not help feeling an undertone of sadness that it was to be the last; for the charm of the woodland was still upon him.
"No, no," continued Danglars; "if we resolve on such a step, it would be much better to take, as I now do, this pen, dip it into this ink, and write with the left hand (that the writing may not be recognized) the denunciation we propose." And Danglars, uniting practice with theory, wrote with his left hand, and in a writing reversed from his usual style, and totally unlike it, the following lines, which he handed to Fernand, and which Fernand read in an undertone: --