a. Of or relating to harmony.
b. Pleasing to the ear: harmonic orchestral effects.
c. Characterized by harmony: a harmonic liturgical chant.
2. Of or relating to harmonics.
3. Integrated in nature.
a. Any of a series of musical tones whose frequencies are integral multiples of the frequency of a fundamental tone.
b. 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.
2. harmonics (used with a sing. verb) The theory or study of the physical properties and characteristics of musical sound.
3. Physics Any of a series of periodic waves whose frequencies are integral multiples of a fundamental frequency.
[Latin harmonicus, from Greek harmonikos, from harmoniā, harmony; see HARMONY.]
(click for a larger image)harmonic
Visual representation of harmonics in the periodic motion of a vibrating guitar string. First (or fundamental) harmonic (top), second harmonic (center), and sixth harmonic (bottom).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus