Meaning of formant

for•mant

Pronunciation: (fôr'munt), [key]
— n.
  1. the range and number of partials present in a tone of a specific instrument, representing its timbre.
  2. one of the regions of concentration of energy, prominent on a sound spectrogram, that collectively constitute the frequency spectrum of a speech sound. The relative positioning of the first and second formants, whether periodic or aperiodic, as of the o of hope at approximately 500 and 900 cycles per second, is usually sufficient to distinguish a sound from all others.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.