tone language

noun

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

Learn More About tone language

Time Traveler for tone language

Time Traveler

The first known use of tone language was circa 1909

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near tone language

tone in with (something)

tone language

toneless

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for tone language

Cite this Entry

“Tone language.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tone%20language. Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on tone language

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tone language

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!