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as in:  a menacing overtone

overtones of despair
  meaning that is implied or implicit, but not stated
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overtones overtone
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  • overtones of despair
  • a political overtone to her scientific analysis
  • Open crates, and overtones of urine.
    Neal Shusterman  --  Unwind
  • But she says this with such flirtatious overtones that I can hardly wait to return to the past.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Longest Ride

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  • "From there it’s a simple matter of entering the Mountains of Ignorance, full of perilous pitfalls and ominous overtones—a land to which many venture but few return, and whose evil demons slither slowly from peak to peak in search of prey.
    Norton Juster  --  The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Now she realized that due to today’s misadventure she could at last hear the music; it seemed far more crucial to her existence, at the moment than this medical talk, no matter how encouraging its overtones, and so she said, "Do you mind if I turn on the radio?"
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • When she spoke her voice had a beautiful low timbre, soft and modulated, and yet with ringing overtones.
    John Steinbeck  --  The Grapes of Wrath
  • His ear heard more than was said to him, and his slow speech had overtones not of thought, but of understanding beyond thought.
    John Steinbeck  --  Of Mice and Men
  • He had discerned a clear overtone of tragedy in the crier’s voice, and even now he could still hear it as it grew dimmer and dimmer in the distance.
    Chinua Achebe  --  Things Fall Apart
  • In some cases they couId be translated into Oldspeak, or even into words taken from the A vocabulary, but this usually demanded a long paraphrase and always involved the loss of certain overtones.
    George Orwell  --  1984

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  • The tyrannosaur roared again, but this time it had distinct musical overtones, and a kind of echo, persisting afterward.
    Michael Crichton  --  Jurassic Park
  • In France and Italy, the words for "left"—gauche and sinistra—came to have deeply negative overtones, while their right-hand counterparts rang of righteousness, dexterity, and correctness.
    Dan Brown  --  The Da Vinci Code
  • The departure of six carloads of lettuce packed in ice was given a civic overtone.
    John Steinbeck  --  East of Eden
  • Then applause filled the hall again, some of it not without satiric overtones.
    Stephen King  --  Carrie
  • I’m told it means ’well-dipper,’ a meaning with rather important overtones here.
    Frank Herbert  --  Dune
  • Of course scientists did not appreciate having their discoveries used by the church to promote religion, so they immediately mathematicized the Big Bang Theory, removed all religious overtones, and claimed it as their own.
    Dan Brown  --  Angels & Demons
  • Abe cut in, solemn and ponderous, beating it all down with an overtone of earth-bound determination.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Tender is the Night
  • An element of indifference is the ultimate overtone.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • There again: the overtone following through the air, third.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • It was the smell of flowers with overtones of gardenia and jasmine, unmistakably his mother’s perfume that he kept hidden away in his little tin box.
    William P. Young  --  The Shack
  • This was a dramatic shift in the meaning of an age-old expression with warlike overtones.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • New discoveries are constantly being made, and many of these discoveries have important political or social overtones.
    Michael Crichton  --  The Andromeda Strain
  • He was listening with pain of spirit to the overtone of weariness behind their frail fresh innocent voices.
    James Joyce  --  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • This attitude is, at least in part, a consequence: of the insecurity of life in Mesopotamia,, and of those ’overtones of anxiety’ which Henri Frankfort described as being due to ’a haunting fear that the unaccountable and turbulent powers may at any time bring disaster to human society’.
    Unknown  --  The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • It was a thick voice, with something in it—a kind of whistling overtone—that struck me as peculiar; but the English accent was strangely good.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Island of Dr. Moreau
  • Something, perhaps, like a man passing on to his son his own father’s watch, which the son accepted not because he wanted the old-fashioned time-piece for itself, but because of the overtones of unstated seriousness and solemnity of the paternal gesture which at once joined him with his ancestors, marked a high point of his present, and promised a concreteness to his nebulous and chaotic future.
    Ralph Ellison  --  Invisible Man
  • I even pitched my voice to a low plane, trying to rob it of any suggestion or overtone of aggressiveness.
    Richard Wright  --  Black Boy
  • His behavior carried ominous overtones.
    Betty Mahmoody  --  Not Without My Daughter
  • Panov had agreed to provide the appropriate psychiatric terminology with the correct Washington overtones.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Supremacy
  • I can imagine a scenario where Salander and the Chinese girl are running some sort of escort service with SM overtones.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl Who Played with Fire
  • And then, suddenly, there came from the arcades behind us the overtones of her father’s unmistakable voice; it was as if a modified foghorn had boomed with a reed inside it.
    Ford Madox Ford  --  The Good Soldier
  • And beneath that there was a hint of lilt that brought back the overtones of a cat burglar l’d known who had grown up on Asquith, a quiet, backwater Web world settled by First Expansion immigrants from what had once been the British Isles.
    Dan Simmons  --  Hyperion
  • Quentin did not answer him, did not pause, his voice level, curious, a little dreamy yet still with that overtone of sullen bemusement, of smoldering outrage: so that Shreve, still too, resembling in his spectacles and nothing else (from the waist down the table concealed him; anyone entering the room would have taken him to be stark naked) a baroque effigy created out of colored cake dough by someone with a faintly nightmarish affinity for the perverse, watched him with thoughtful andů
    William Faulkner  --  Absalom, Absalom!
  • Fainter traces came to his nose as the overtones of a bell sound in a trained ear.
    Richard Adams  --  Watership Down
  • The looked at each other across the shadows, the moment taking on overtones of finality.
    Stephen King  --  The Gunslinger
  • One of my purposes was to listen, to hear speech, accent, speech rhythms, overtones, and emphasis.
    John Steinbeck  --  Travels with Charley
  • Put together all the right overtones at the right power levels so it’d come out like a violin.
    Thomas Pynchon  --  The Crying of Lot 49
  • Then the thought came to me, with dark, more than informational overtones to it: there is a dolphin skeleton in the next room.
    Roger Zelazny  --  My Name is Legion
  • The words, which carried such lyrical and mythological and dramatic overtones, were real and actual—their hearer repeated them to me.
    Eudora Welty  --  One Writer’s Beginnings
  • He was baritone, had North American accent with Aussie overtones; as "Michelle" he (she?) had a light soprano with French flavor.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  • Her appreciation of the ridiculous was keen, and in all things she unerringly saw and felt, where it existed, the touch of sham, the overshading, the overtone.
    Jack London  --  Sea Wolf
  • And as his mother bent down to kiss him— "Keep out of mischief," the barest overtone hardened his father’s voice.
    Henry Roth  --  Call It Sleep
  • The night air would be thick and warm, tinged with the smell of the chemical plants a mile away, and with the city all around them, the cold lights on the pavement, the car would be cozier than ever, the conversation full of overtones Sol would not yet be catching.
    John Gardner  --  The Sunlight Dialogues
  • She had a curious trick of pursing her lips reflectively before she spoke; she liked to take her time, and came to the point after interminable divagations down all the lane-ends of memory and overtone, feasting upon the golden pageant of all she had ever said, done, felt, thought, seen, or replied, with egocentric delight.
    Thomas Wolfe  --  Look Homeward, Angel
  • The nasal twang which Englishmen observe in the /vox Americana/, though it has high overtones, is itself not high pitched, but rather low pitched, as all constrained and muffled tones are apt to be.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • The words of Krsna, the world savior, to the wives of the dead Kans carry a frightening overtone; so do the words of Jesus: "I came not to send peace, but a sword.
    Joseph Campbell  --  The Hero With a Thousand Faces
  • He will shift the conversation next to something seemingly innocent, but with ominous overtones, she told herself.
    Frank Herbert  --  Dune
  • PADDY DIGNAM: (With pricked up ears, winces) Overtones.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • Langdon quickly explained that the Rose’s overtone of secrecy was not the only reason the Priory used it as a symbol for the Grail.
    Dan Brown  --  The Da Vinci Code
  • Nor did I have any idea how to deal with the situation as it stood now, with its overtone of irreconcilable strife.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
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Associated words [difficulty]:   overtone [5]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Fine Arts & Music, Engineering, Logic & Reasoning
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