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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce timbre (audio)

Dictionary definition of timbre

The unique quality or character of a sound, which distinguishes it from other sounds of the same pitch and volume.
"The timbre of the saxophone creates a sultry and seductive sound."

Detailed meaning of timbre

Also known as tone color or tone quality, timbre is affected by a variety of factors, including the size, shape, and material of the sound-producing object, as well as the manner in which it is played or sung. For example, the timbre of a guitar string differs from that of a piano key, even if both produce the same note. Similarly, the timbre of a human voice can convey important information about the speaker's age, gender, emotional state, and cultural background. Timbre plays a crucial role in music, as it allows musicians to create expressive and nuanced performances by varying the sound quality of their instruments or voices.

Example sentences containing timbre

1. Her voice had a sweet, melodic timbre that was instantly recognizable.
2. Switching to an electric guitar altered its timbre significantly.
3. The violin's notes conveyed deep emotions through their timbre.
4. The singer's unique timbre set him apart in the music industry.
5. The trumpet's timbre cut brilliantly through the orchestra.
6. The wind chimes' timbre created a soothing melody.

History and etymology of timbre

The noun 'timbre' has its etymological origins in the French word 'timbre,' which originally referred to a bell or a stamp. It is believed to have been borrowed from the Old Provençal word 'timbre,' meaning 'bell.' Over time, the term expanded in meaning to include the unique quality or character of a sound, particularly the sound of a bell. The word's evolution to signify the distinct tonal quality of sounds can be attributed to its association with the varying and identifiable tones produced by different bells. Today, 'timbre' is used to describe the unique quality that distinguishes one sound from another, such as the way we can differentiate between the timbre of a violin and a trumpet, even when they produce the same pitch and volume. The etymology of 'timbre' reflects its historical link to the world of sound, particularly the resonance of bells, which contributed to its modern meaning.

Quiz: Find the meaning of timbre

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Further usage examples of timbre

1. An approaching storm could be foretold by the thunder's timbre.
2. His laughter, with its infectious timbre, brightened the room.
3. From afar, she recognized her mother's voice by its timbre.
4. The flute's timbre added a mystical quality to the music.
5. Soulful depth resonated from the saxophone's timbre.
6. The bird's song filled the forest with beauty through its timbre.
7. The narrator captivated the audience with his voice's timbre.
8. Calmingly, the rain on the roof sang with its unique timbre.
9. A problem with the car was signaled by the engine's timbre.
10. The actor conveyed emotions through his character's voice timbre.
11. Ceremony began as the church bells rang with their unique timbre.
12. The cello's notes were rich and resonant in their timbre.
13. The ocean waves' timbre was both powerful and serene.
14. Warmth was added to the ensemble by the clarinet's timbre.
15. The unique timbre of her voice made her stand out as a singer.
16. The conductor worked with the orchestra to achieve a uniform timbre.
17. The guitarist adjusted the settings on his amplifier to change the timbre of his instrument.
18. The timbre of the violin conveyed a sense of longing and melancholy.
19. The singer's powerful timbre filled the concert hall with sound.
20. The timbre of the drums added a rhythmic and percussive element to the music.
21. The pianist's delicate touch created a soft and subtle timbre.
22. The timbre of the brass section added a bold and triumphant sound to the symphony.
23. The singer's timbre evolved over time as she matured and developed her style.
24. The timbre of the choir's voices blended together in perfect harmony.
25. The singer's unique timbre allowed her to interpret the song in a deeply personal way.



tone, sameness, monotone, uniformity


SAT 6 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Noise and Turmoil, Sensory and Perception

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