adjective \(ˌ)ā-ˈtō-nəl, (ˌ)a-\

music : not written, played, or sung in a particular key

Full Definition of ATONAL

:  marked by avoidance of traditional musical tonality; especially :  organized without reference to key or tonal center and using the tones of the chromatic scale impartially
aton·al·ism \-nə-ˌli-zəm\ noun
aton·al·ist \-list\ noun
ato·nal·i·ty \ˌā-tō-ˈna-lə-tē, ˌa-\ noun
aton·al·ly \(ˌ)ā-ˈtō-nə-lē, (ˌ)a-\ adverb

Origin of ATONAL

2a- + tonal
First Known Use: 1922


Next Word in the Dictionary: atone
Previous Word in the Dictionary: atonable
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