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



BrE BrE//ˈʌndətəʊn//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈʌndərtoʊn//
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  • undertone (of something) a feeling, quality or meaning that is not expressed directly but is still noticeable from what somebody says or does synonym undercurrent His soft words contained an undertone of warning. The play does not have the political undertones of the novel. compare overtone
  • Extra examples His voice carried bitter undertones. The article was full of racist undertones. The couple at the next table were speaking in undertones. There are hints of political undertones throughout the movie.Idioms
    in an undertone, in undertones
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    in a quiet voice ‘I must leave now,’ he said in an undertone.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: undertone