Definitions

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

  • adj. Of or relating to harmony.
  • adj. Pleasing to the ear: harmonic orchestral effects.
  • adj. Characterized by harmony: a harmonic liturgical chant.
  • adj. Of or relating to harmonics.
  • adj. Integrated in nature.
  • n. Any of a series of musical tones whose frequencies are integral multiples of the frequency of a fundamental tone.
  • n. A tone produced on a stringed instrument by lightly touching an open or stopped vibrating string at a given fraction of its length so that both segments vibrate. Also called overtone, partial, partial tone.
  • n. The theory or study of the physical properties and characteristics of musical sound.
  • n. Physics A wave whose frequency is a whole-number multiple of that of another.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. pertaining to harmony
  • adj. pleasant to hear; harmonious; melodious
  • adj. attribute of many mathematical entities that only in few cases are obviously related
  • n. a component frequency of the signal of a wave that is an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Concordant; musical; consonant.
  • adj. Relating to harmony, -- as melodic relates to melody; harmonious; esp., relating to the accessory sounds or overtones which accompany the predominant and apparent single tone of any string or sonorous body.
  • adj. Having relations or properties bearing some resemblance to those of musical consonances; -- said of certain numbers, ratios, proportions, points, lines, motions, and the like.
  • n. A musical note produced by a number of vibrations which is a multiple of the number producing some other; an overtone. See harmonics.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining or relating to harmony of sounds; of or pertaining to music; in general, concordant; consonant; in music, specifically, pertaining to harmony, as distinguished from melody and rhythm.
  • In acoustics, noting the secondary tones which accompany the primary tone in a complex musical tone. See II., 1.
  • In mathematics, involving or of the nature of the harmonic mean; similar to or constructed upon the principle of the harmonic curve.
  • In anatomy, forming or formed by a harmonia: as, a harmonic articulation or suture.
  • Also harmonical.
  • In music, the analysis of the harmonic structure of a piece.
  • The amplification of a harmonic passage by the introduction of passing-notes, etc.
  • n. In acoustics: A secondary or collateral tone involved in a primary or fundamental tone, and produced by the partial vibration of the body of which the complete vibration gives the primary tone.
  • n. A harmonic tone.
  • In function theory, two pairs of points, one pair the intersections of a circle about with a circle through the other pair.

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

  • adj. relating to vibrations that occur as a result of vibrations in a nearby body
  • adj. of or relating to the branch of acoustics that studies the composition of musical sounds
  • adj. of or relating to harmony as distinct from melody and rhythm
  • n. a tone that is a component of a complex sound
  • n. any of a series of musical tones whose frequencies are integral multiples of the frequency of a fundamental
  • adj. of or relating to harmonics
  • adj. involving or characterized by harmony

Etymologies

Latin harmonicus, from Greek harmonikos, from harmoni─ü, harmony; see harmony.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The term harmonic function was coined by him around 1850 for solutions of the

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  • And so what I talk to people about is creating a life of what I call harmonic wealth.

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  • The fifth partial is known as the fourth harmonic, because with harmonics, the fundamental is not counted (which makes the term harmonic less practical to use).

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  • I don't really get much better quality in harmonic analysis than the latter.

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  • Carl's finally seen enough of the before/after to realize that when it's fear talking, it'll just keep going in harmonic motion unless I'm distracted.

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  • Speech and singing also contain harmonic frequencies, multiples of the fundamental frequency: two times the fundamental frequency, three times, four times and so on.

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  • The name harmonic may come from the fact that one such harmonic sequence is 2 1 4 1 1 1 1, and if one takes guitar 1 3 1 5 6 7 8 strings of these relative lengths and strums them together, a harmonious sound results.

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  • So if a trumpet plays a "C", you're hearing a C, then the first harmonic, which is another C an octave up, and then the second harmonic which is a G, and an E, and a B flat ... on and on.

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  • Others of a more "new agey" bent have called on me to attend something called a "harmonic convergence" back in the 1980s, and now we have aficionados of a "Mayan Calendar" and other supposed traditions naming the new year 2012 as THE time for... well, something.

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  • But when the earth shakes back and forth in the direction, the buildings can't handle it and especially buildings that might get what is called harmonic motion.

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