Definition of overtone noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈəʊvətəʊn//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈoʊvərtoʊn//
[usually plural]
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an attitude or an emotion that is suggested and is not expressed in a direct way There were political overtones to the point he was making. compare undertone Word Originmid 19th cent.: from over- + tone, suggested by German Oberton.Extra examples The word ‘cheap’ has negative overtones. a play with strong religious overtones His message had clearly coded racial overtones. The term carries unfortunate overtones of separateness and aloneness.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: overtone