half·​tone ˈhaf-ˌtōn How to pronounce halftone (audio)
: any of the shades of gray between the darkest and the lightest parts of a photographic image
: a photoengraving made from an image photographed through a screen and then etched so that the details of the image are reproduced in dots
: an image (such as one printed on an offset press or laser printer) that renders smooth variations of color in an original by means of dots assigned to areas of the image electronically
halftone adjective

Examples of halftone in a Sentence

using software to lighten the picture's halftones
Recent Examples on the Web The next book of the five hundred might be a halftone different. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 12 Sep. 2022 Recently, the hypnotic halftone designs have taken on new meaning in a digital age. Leah Dolan, CNN, 26 May 2022 There were huge features screened across it in dull black halftone, asymmetrical eyes at breast height, a grim mouth at crotch-level. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 1 Sep. 2017 Technologies used to put out the paper also are highlighted, such as printing presses, halftone plates and stereotypes. Susan Dunne, courant.com, 31 July 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'halftone.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1636, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of halftone was in 1636

Dictionary Entries Near halftone

Cite this Entry

“Halftone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/halftone. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


half·​tone ˈhaf-ˌtōn How to pronounce halftone (audio)
: a medium tint or tone in a painting, engraving, or photograph
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