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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

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.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

undertone

noun
A subtle quality underlying or felt to underlie a situation, action, or person:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005

undertone

[ˈʌndərtəʊn] n
(= low voice) in an undertone → à mi-voix
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

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
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
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.
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!'