ton·​al ˈtō-nᵊl How to pronounce tonal (audio)
: of or relating to tone, tonality, or tonicity
: having tonality
tonally adverb

Examples of tonal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Nwodim could do a decent Maya Angelou impression and sensed tonal similarities in their speaking voices. Sonia Rao, Washington Post, 28 Nov. 2023 Yet the stereotype of the region’s style as being almost exclusively clean-lined and tonal belies the evolution of Scandi cool. Laird Borrelli-Persson, Vogue, 21 Nov. 2023 Every human body is host to a wide array of acoustic and tonal signatures. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 16 Nov. 2023 Graham and Norwood handle the comedic and dramatic tonal fluctuations with grace and nuance, nimbly landing both punchlines and emotional gut-punches. Courtney Howard, Variety, 16 Nov. 2023 With its tonal and signature shifts, the audience was easily won over. Marlow Stern, Rolling Stone, 12 Nov. 2023 Pollard recommends topping your look with faux fur, sequined layers, or tonal cozy knits. Rachel Sylvester, Glamour, 9 Nov. 2023 Randolph plays every beat with just the right comic or tragic tonal nuance, as does Giamatti. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 1 Nov. 2023 Each variation features black subdials, which really pop on the blue, green, and sand colorways and give the black model a sleek, tonal look. Cait Bazemore, Robb Report, 6 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tonal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tonal was in 1776

Dictionary Entries Near tonal

Cite this Entry

“Tonal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ton·​al ˈtōn-ᵊl How to pronounce tonal (audio)
: of or relating to a musical tone
tonally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on tonal

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