Definition of timbre in US English:

timbre

noun

  • The character or quality of a musical sound or voice as distinct from its pitch and intensity.

    ‘trumpet mutes with different timbres’
    ‘a voice high in pitch but rich in timbre’
    • ‘This changes both the timbres and the chords that are available to the violinist.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The difference between string timbres and percussion timbres is intentionally blunted here.’
    tone, sound, sound quality, voice, voice quality, colour, tone colour, tonality, resonance, ring
    View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

timbre

/ˈtæmbər//ˈtambər/