tone language


Definition of tone language 

: a language (such as Chinese or Zulu) in which variations in tone distinguish words or phrases of different meaning that otherwise would sound alike

First Known Use of tone language

circa 1909, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tone language

Share tone language

Statistics for tone language

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tone language

The first known use of tone language was circa 1909

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tone language

tone language


English Language Learners Definition of tone language

: a language (such as Chinese) in which changes in the tone of words indicate different meanings

More from Merriam-Webster on tone language

See words that rhyme with tone language Encyclopedia article about tone language

Comments on tone language

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


a trusted follower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

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

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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