harmonic definition, harmonic meaning | English dictionary

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1    of, involving, producing, or characterized by harmony; harmonious  
2      (Music)   of, relating to, or belonging to harmony  
3      (Maths)  
a    capable of expression in the form of sine and cosine functions  
b    of or relating to numbers whose reciprocals form an arithmetic progression  
4      (Physics)   of or concerned with an oscillation that has a frequency that is an integral multiple of a fundamental frequency  
5      (Physics)   of or concerned with harmonics  
6      (Physics, music)   a component of a periodic quantity, such as a musical tone, with a frequency that is an integral multiple of the fundamental frequency. The first harmonic is the fundamental, the second harmonic (twice the fundamental frequency) is the first overtone, the third harmonic (three times the fundamental frequency) is the second overtone, etc.  
7      (Music)   (not in technical use) overtone: in this case, the first overtone is the first harmonic, etc.,   (See also)        harmonics  
     (C16: from Latin harmonicus relating to harmony)  
  harmonically      adv  

harmonic analysis  
1    the representation of a periodic function by means of the summation and integration of simple trigonometric functions  
2    the study of this means of representation  
harmonic distortion  
      n     (Electronics)   distortion caused by nonlinear characteristics of electronic apparatus, esp. of audio amplifiers, that generate unwanted harmonics of the input frequencies  
harmonic mean  
      n   the reciprocal of the arithmetic mean of the reciprocals of a set of specified numbers: the harmonic mean of 2, 3, and 4 is 3(½ + 1/3 + ¼)--1 = 36/13  
harmonic minor scale  
      n     (Music)   a minor scale modified from the state of being natural by the sharpening of the seventh degree  
   See       minor  
    melodic minor scale  
harmonic motion  
      n   a periodic motion in which the displacement is symmetrical about a point or a periodic motion that is composed of such motions  
   See also       simple harmonic motion  
harmonic progression  
      n   a sequence of numbers whose reciprocals form an arithmetic progression, as 1, ½, 1/3 , ...  
harmonic series  
1      (Maths)   a series whose terms are in harmonic progression, as in 1 + ½ + 1/3 + ...  
2      (Acoustics)   the series of tones with frequencies strictly related to one another and to the fundamental tone, as obtained by touching lightly the node points of a string while playing it. Its most important application is in the playing of brass instruments  
simple harmonic motion  
      n   a form of periodic motion of a particle, etc., in which the acceleration is always directed towards some equilibrium point and is proportional to the displacement from this point,   (Abbrev.)    SHM  
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