ton·​al | \ ˈtō-nᵊl How to pronounce tonal (audio) \

Definition of tonal

1 : of or relating to tone, tonality, or tonicity
2 : having tonality

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Other Words from tonal

tonally \ ˈtō-​nᵊl-​ē How to pronounce tonally (audio) \ adverb

Examples of tonal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Although the compositional method is related to mid-century serialism, the formula tends to yield tonal-sounding motifs, with Michael’s theme hovering around D minor. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Karlheinz Stockhausen Composes the Cosmos," 17 June 2019 His features moved with a kind of terse, unhurried poise, dispensing tonal changes and dramatic developments at a steady drip. Max Nelson, Harper's magazine, "The All-Seeing Eye," 10 June 2019 Bella Hadid is standing in an all-white space wearing nothing but a pair of black bike shoes, tonal crewneck T-shirt, and sneakers, all by Calvin Klein. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bella Hadid Makes Out with Lil Miquela in Calvin Klein Campaign," 16 May 2019 Throughout the work, Mr. Cho displayed an impressive variety of tonal colors and remarkable technique. Barbara Jepson, WSJ, "A Master of the Virtuosic Miniature in New York," 24 Jan. 2019 In the film there’s a real tonal difference between the sort of manic video footage of him performing and the audio snippets that form a sort of sober, reflective voiceover backbone. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "In a New Documentary, a Lens Into Robin Williams’s Beautiful Mind," 16 July 2018 Getty’s score is spare, inward-looking, unapologetically tonal, channeling Benjamin Britten in mood and texture if not actual style, and consisting of mostly unmemorable recitative with little connection between the orchestra and the singing line. Richard S. Ginell,, "L.A. Opera's 'Scare Pair' at the Broad Stage," 25 June 2018 For decades, she's meticulously coordinated her coats, hats, dresses, and more, achieving a level of tonal continuity unachievable by most. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth's Umbrellas Are Custom Made to Match Her Outfits," 23 Mar. 2019 Ombrés, low-contrast marbleized prints, and tonal faux suedes will bring depth to room without stealing the spotlight. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "Interior Designers Predict the Next Major Wallpaper Trends," 12 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tonal.' 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 tonal

1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for tonal

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for tonal

The first known use of tonal was in 1776

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English Language Learners Definition of tonal

technical : of or relating to musical or color tones
music : having or based in a particular key

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