tonal

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

Definition of tonal

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

Keep scrolling for more

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, latimes.com, "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.

See More

First Known Use of tonal

1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tonal

Dictionary Entries near tonal

ton

tonada

tonadilla

tonal

tonalamatl

tonalism

tonalist

Statistics for tonal

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tonal

The first known use of tonal was in 1776

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tonal

tonal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of tonal

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

More from Merriam-Webster on tonal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tonal

Comments on tonal

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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