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 national telecom service added Bodu Bala Sena’s theme song to its collection of ringtones. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "‘Our Duty to Fight’: The Rise of Militant Buddhism," 8 July 2019 As sales of e-cigarettes surge, the devices have joined polarizing workplace aggravations like microwaved fish, loud ringtones and reply-to-all messages. Katherine Bindley, WSJ, "Microwaved Fish Was Once the Workplace Aggravation—Now It’s Vaping," 14 Dec. 2018 Until very recently, the slider phone was a thing of the past, consigned to the annals of history along with polyphonic ringtones and BlackBerry’s scroll wheel. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Lenovo’s Z5 Pro is a cheaper take on the slider phone trend," 1 Nov. 2018 Have musical cell phone ringtones been silenced for good? Oona Goodin-smith, Philly.com, "Making the most of your Memorial Day weekend, court upholds transgender student rights| Morning Newsletter," 25 May 2018 The cry was even featured on The Simpsons and one web site sells it as a ringtone. Amanda Christovich, USA TODAY, "Andres Cantor explains how his famous 'gol!' call came to be, gives his top 5 calls of the last decade," 13 July 2018 Ask everyone to keep the occasional call brief, to change their ringtones to silent and to leave their cellphones in their purses or desk drawers. Anchorage Daily News, "My employee is constantly on her cellphone at work. How can I rein her in without looking unfair?," 9 July 2018 Jason Jones, who entered prison 13 years ago, has never owned a gadget more modern than an early-aughts Sprint flip phone with custom ringtones. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "How San Quentin Inmates Built a Search Engine for Prison," 1 June 2018 In 2010, researchers at the University of Utrecht evaluated ringtones for the cultural power. Cassie Owens, Philly.com, "Where have all the musical ringtones gone?," 24 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of ringtone

1983, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for ringtone

Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for ringtone

The first known use of ringtone was in 1983

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on ringtone

Spanish Central: Translation of 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).


a period when something is suspended

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