Definition of timbre in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtambə/


1The character or quality of a musical sound or voice as distinct from its pitch and intensity: trumpet mutes with different timbres [mass noun]: a voice high in pitch but rich in timbre
More example sentences
  • Different composers describe perceiving different colours with different keys, instrumental timbres, or harmonic structures.
  • How did these women match their pitch, vibrato, and timbres with such precision?
  • The plainchant was delivered faultlessly, and gave a flavour of the complementary timbres of the male voices.
tone, sound, sound quality, voice, voice quality, colour, tone colour, tonality, resonance, ring
1.1 [mass noun] The distinctive quality or character of someone or something: you must demonstrate your moral timbre as a human being
More example sentences
  • In the wake of the politics of the late 1990s, Americans may be sensitive to moral timbre.
  • Maybe it's this lack of awareness about the moral timbre of what he writes and says that causes Corn to be so upset about my description of his book as not unsympathetic to Shackley.
  • But in Britain, the revolution is of an altogether more polite timbre: it's a revolution in taste.


Mid 19th century: from French, from medieval Greek timbanon, from Greek tumpanon 'drum'.

Words that rhyme with timbre

amber, camber, caramba, clamber, Cochabamba, gamba, mamba, Maramba, samba

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: timbre

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