ring·​tone | \ ˈriŋ-ˌtōn How to pronounce ringtone (audio) \

Definition of ringtone

: the sound made by a cell phone to signal an incoming call

Examples of ringtone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The officers who responded found no indication of shots fired, and Ms. Deck said that Mr. Warner used gunfire noises as a ringtone on his cellphone. New York Times, "Behind the Nashville Bombing, a Conspiracy Theorist Stewing About the Government," 24 Feb. 2021 Juan Carlos went viral in what now seems like the quaintest of fashions: as a custom ringtone for mobile phones. Saskia Solomon, The Economist, "How the iPhone killed the custom ringtone," 17 Feb. 2021 Could the person in all those Facebook pictures, the blinking three dots in the text window, could the ringtone that startled her whenever her sister called simply disappear? Patricia Lockwood, The New Yorker, "The Winged Thing," 23 Nov. 2020 Someone turning on a radio — or wait, was that just a cell phone ringtone? New York Times, "Transporting You Far Away," 20 Nov. 2020 Even the most focused of stage actors can be rattled by an unexpected intrusion, such as an errant ringtone or overzealous audience murmuring. Washington Post, "Arena Stage returns to live performances with an outdoor production of the rousing ‘Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak on It!’," 30 Oct. 2020 The audio of Trump introducing him is now DiFabio’s cellphone ringtone. Melanie Mason Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Ohio, once seen as Trump territory, emerges as a battleground," 28 Oct. 2020 After reinserting the long needle in my spine at a second point, the resident jumped in reaction to her ringtone. Timothy Snyder, The New York Review of Books, "What Ails America," 3 Sep. 2020 Tap a sound type, such as ringtone or text tone under Sounds and Vibration Patterns for new mail, calendar alerts, AirDrop, and more. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, "10 new iPhone tricks you’ll use all the time," 12 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ringtone.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ringtone

1983, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ringtone

Time Traveler for ringtone

Time Traveler

The first known use of ringtone was in 1983

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ringtone

Cite this Entry

“Ringtone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ringtone. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ringtone



English Language Learners Definition of ringtone

: the sound that a cell phone makes when someone is calling


ring·​tone | \ ˈriŋ-ˌtōn \

Kids Definition of ringtone

: a sound made by a cell phone to signal that a call is coming in

More from Merriam-Webster on ringtone

Nglish: Translation of ringtone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ringtone

Comments on ringtone

What made you want to look up ringtone? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!