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 tonal (audio) \ adverb

Examples of tonal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Attached to a leather strap, these massive musical instruments are tonal pleasures. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, "The many faces of winter: Yenke Peddler antiques," 31 Dec. 2020 In a year in which more than 338,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus, viewers may notice a tonal shift compared with the goofy — and sometimes tipsy — coverage of years past. New York Times, "How the Networks Will Fill Airtime on a Quiet New Year’s Eve," 30 Dec. 2020 But tonal shifts and last-minute twists are something audiences have come to expect from Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Arrival). Jennifer M. Wood, Wired, "The 20 Most Underrated Movies of the Past 20 Years," 24 Dec. 2020 Look for a model that produces the tonal colors that satisfy your sonic needs. Allen Foster,, "The best harp," 19 Dec. 2020 It’s not the first time this month that the Marry Me star has done the tonal thing. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jennifer Lopez Sports a Silky Monochrome Look for Errands in L.A.," 17 Dec. 2020 The algorithm also analyzed the body of text for sentiment to generate more realistic tonal inflections. Washington Post, "The new normal for concerts could involve mixed reality holograms," 16 Dec. 2020 Wilson edits musically, using visual beats to create tight rhythms, tonal ironies, felicities, and jokes. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, "“How To with John Wilson” Offers a Martian’s-Eye View of Homo Sapiens’ Habits," 14 Dec. 2020 The bass was deeper and more defined, the imaging more solid, and the L100 had a richer and more elaborate tonal palette, greater presence and sounded more real. Don Lindich, Star Tribune, "Sound Advice: High tech has revolutionized bookshelf speakers," 11 Dec. 2020

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

History and Etymology for tonal

tone entry 1 + -al entry 1

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Time Traveler for tonal

Time Traveler

The first known use of tonal was in 1776

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Statistics for tonal

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tonal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for tonal


How to pronounce tonal (audio)

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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