noun (1)
\ ˈtən How to pronounce ton (audio) \
plural tons also ton

Definition of ton

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of various units of weight:
2 : a great quantity : lot ate tons of cookies has tons of money a ton of work to do
3a : a unit of internal capacity for ships equal to 100 cubic feet

called also register ton

b : a unit approximately equal to the volume of a long ton weight of seawater used in reckoning the displacement of ships and equal to 35 cubic feet
c : a unit of volume for cargo freight usually reckoned at 40 cubic feet

called also measurement ton


noun (2)
\ ˈtōⁿ How to pronounce ton (audio) \

Definition of ton (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the prevailing fashion : vogue
2 : the quality or state of being smart or fashionable

First Known Use of ton

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

Noun (2)

1756, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ton

Noun (1)

Middle English tunne unit of weight or capacity — more at tun

Noun (2)

borrowed from French, "pitch, tone, manner, style," going back to Old French, "sound of voices, voice quality," going back to Latin tonus "strain, tension, musical pitch, note" — more at tone entry 1

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Time Traveler for ton

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The first known use of ton was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Ton.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for ton


\ ˈtən How to pronounce ton (audio) \

Kids Definition of ton

: a measure of weight equal either to 2000 pounds (about 907 kilograms) ( short ton ) or 2240 pounds (about 1016 kilograms) ( long ton ) with the short ton being more frequently used in the United States and Canada


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