Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The combination of qualities of a sound that distinguishes it from other sounds of the same pitch and volume.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The quality of a sound independent of its pitch and volume.
  • n. The crest on a coat of arms.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See 1st timber.
  • n. The crest on a coat of arms.
  • n. The quality or tone distinguishing voices or instruments; tone color; clang tint; See Tone, and Partial tones, under Partial.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To play the timbrel.
  • n. Same as timbe.
  • n. An old spelling of timber, timber, timber.
  • n. A tambourine; a timbrel.
  • n. In acoustics, that characteristic quality of sounds produced from some particular source, as from an instrument or a voice, by which they are distinguished from sounds from other sources, as from other instruments or other voices; quality; tone-color.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (music) the distinctive property of a complex sound (a voice or noise or musical sound)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French, from Old French, drum, clapperless bell, probably from Medieval Greek *timbanon, drum, from Greek tumpanon, kettledrum.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French, a bell to be struck with a hammer, sound, tone, stamp, crest, in Old French, a timbrel. Compare timbrel.

Examples

Comments

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  • The official definition of the Acoustical Society of America is that timbre is everything about a sound that is not loudness or pitch. So much for scientific precision!
    Daniel J. Levitin, This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession (New York: Penguin Random House, 2007), p. 19

    June 19, 2017