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undertone

noun
     
un‧der‧tone [countable]
1 a feeling or quality that is not directly expressed but can still be recognized [↪ overtone]
undertone of
There was an undertone of sadness in her letter.
Opponents claim the policy has racist undertones.
2 literary if you speak in an undertone, you speak quietly
in an undertone
'Don't be too upset if he doesn't come,' said Drew in an undertone.

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