1

tone

play
noun \ ˈtōn \

Definition of tone

1 :vocal or musical sound of a specific quality
  • spoke in low tones
  • masculine tones
; especially :musical sound with respect to timbre and manner of expression
2 a :a sound of definite pitch and vibration
3 :accent or inflection expressive of a mood or emotion
4 :style or manner of expression in speaking or writing
  • seemed wise to adopt a conciliatory tone
5 :a particular pitch or change of pitch constituting an element in the intonation of a phrase or sentence
  • high tone
  • low tone
  • mid tone
  • low-rising tone
  • falling tone
6 :the pitch of a word often used to express differences of meaning
7 a (1) :color quality or value
(2) :a tint or shade of color
b :the color that appreciably modifies a hue or white or black
  • gray walls of greenish tone
8 :the effect in painting of light and shade together with color
9 a :normal tension or responsiveness to stimuli; specifically :muscular tonus
b :the state of a living body or of any of its organs or parts in which the functions are healthy and performed with due vigor
10 a :general character, quality, or trend
  • a city's upbeat tone
b :frame of mind :mood
c :healthy elasticity :resiliency

Examples of tone in a Sentence

  1. He replied in a friendly tone.

  2. They spoke in hushed tones.

  3. Don't use that rude tone of voice with me.

  4. the low tones of an organ

  5. The speech had religious tones to it.

  6. The author's tone shows her attitude toward the subject.

  7. The professor's condescending tone irritated some students.

  8. a bright, dark, or light tone of blue

  9. the soft tones of the painting

Recent Examples of tone from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tone.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of tone

Middle English, from Anglo-French tun, ton, from Latin tonus tension, tone, from Greek tonos, literally, act of stretching; akin to Greek teinein to stretch — more at thin


2

tone

verb

Definition of tone

toned; toning
transitive verb
1 a :to impart tone to :strengthen
  • medicine to tone up the system
b :to soften or reduce in intensity, color, appearance, or sound :mellow often used with down
c :to change the normal silver image of (something, such as a photographic print) into a colored image
2 :to give a particular intonation or inflection to
3 :intone
intransitive verb
1 :to assume a pleasing color quality or tint
2 :to blend or harmonize in color

Recent Examples of tone from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tone.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of tone

1660


Tone

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biographical name \ ˈtōn \

Definition of Tone

(Theobald) Wolfe 1763–1798 Irish revolutionary


TONE Defined for English Language Learners

tone

play
noun

Definition of tone for English Language Learners

  • : the quality of a person's voice

  • : the quality of a sound produced by a musical instrument or singing voice

  • : a quality, feeling, or attitude expressed by the words that someone uses in speaking or writing


tone

verb

Definition of tone for English Language Learners

  • : to give strength and firmness to (something, such as muscles or skin)


TONE Defined for Kids

1

tone

play
noun \ ˈtōn \

Definition of tone for Students

1 :an individual way of speaking or writing especially when used to express an emotion
  • He replied in a friendly tone.
2 :common character or quality
  • There was a polite tone to the discussions.
3 :quality of spoken or musical sound
4 :a sound on one pitch
5 :a shade of color
  • The room is decorated in soft tones.
6 :a color that changes another
  • It's gray with a blue tone.
7 :a healthy state of the body or any of its parts
  • He has good muscle tone.

2

tone

verb

Definition of tone for Students

toned; toning
:to give a healthy state to :strengthen
  • She exercised to tone up her muscles.
tone down
:to soften or blend in color, appearance, or sound
  • Can you tone down the music?

Medical Dictionary

1

tone

play
noun \ ˈtōn \

medical Definition of tone

1 :a sound of definite pitch and vibration
2 a :the state of a living body or of any of its organs or parts in which the functions are healthy and performed with due vigor
b :normal tension or responsiveness to stimuli; specifically :tonus 2

2

tone

transitive verb

medical Definition of tone

toned; toning
:to impart tone to
  • tone the muscles


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